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Discontents of the Army at Newburg— Memorial of the Officers to 
Congress — Anonymous Papers circulated in the Camp — Meeting 
of Officers called— Address of Washington— Resolutions in Con- 
sequence—Letters of Washington to the President— His Opinion 
of the Anonymous Addresses and their Author . . . .19 


News of Peace — Letter of Washington in Behalf of the Army — 
Cessation of Hostilities proclaimed — Order of the Cincinnati 
formed — Letter of Washington to the State Governors— Mutiny 
in the Pennsylvania Line — Letter of Washington on the Subject 
— Tour to the Northern Posts 31 


The Army to be discharged — Parting Address of Washington — 
Evacuation of New York — Parting Scene of Washington with 
his Officers at New York — Washington resigns his Commission 
to Congress — Retires to Mount Vernon 44 


Washington at Mount Vernon — A Soldier's Repose — Plans of Do- 
mestic Life — Kind Offer of the Council of Pennsylvania — His- 


4 Gontepts 

torical Applications — News of Jacob Van Braam — Opening of 
Spring — Agricultural Life resumed — Recollections of the Fair- 
faxes — Meeting of the Order of Cincinnati — Tour of Washing- 
ton and Dr. Craik to the West — Ideas of Internal Improvement 
— Parting with Lafayette 54 


Scheme of Inland Navigation — Shares of Stock offered to Washing- 
ton — Declined — Rural Improvements — The Tax of Letter-writ- 
ing — The Tax of Sitting for Likenesses — Ornamental Gardening 
— Management of the Estate — Domestic Life — Visit of Mr. Wat- 
son — Reverential Awe inspired by Washington — Irksome to 
him — Instances of his Festive Gayety — Of his Laughing — Pas- 
sion for Hunting revived — Death of Gen. Greene — His Char- 
acter — Washington's Regrets and Encomiums — Letters to the 
French Noblemen 67 


Washington doubts the Solidity of the Confederation — Correspond- 
ence with John Jay on the Subject — Plan of a Convention of all 
the States to revise the Federal System — Washington heads the 
Virginia Delegation — Insurrection in Massachusetts — The Con- 
vention — A Federal Constitution organized — Ratified . . .87 


Washington talked of for the Presidency — His Letters on the 
Subject expressing his Reluctance — His Election — His Prog- 
ress to the Seat of Government — His Reception at New York — 
The Inauguration ....... . 108 

^orptepts 5 



The New Government — Domestic and Foreign Relations — Washing- 
ton's anxious Position — Its Difficulties — Without Cabinet or 
Constitutional Advisers — John Jay — Hamilton — His efficient 
Support of the Constitution and Theoretic Doubts — James 
Madison — Knox — His Characteristics ...... 121 


Washington's Privacy beset with Visits of Compliment — Queries as 
to the proper Line of Conduct in his Presidential Intercourse — 
Opinions of Adams and Hamilton — Jefferson as to the Authors 
of the Minor Forms and Ceremonies — His whimsical Anecdote 
of the first Levee — Inaugural Ball 127 


Journey of Mrs. Washington to New York — Honors paid her in 
her Progress — Receptions at the Seat of Government — The 
President's Equipage . 138 


Alarming Illness of the President — The Senate rejects one of his 
Nominations — His sensitive Vindication of it — Death of his 
Mother— Her Character— The Executive Departments insti- 
tuted — Selection of Officers for the Treasury and War De- 
partments — Hamilton instructed to report a Financial Plan at 
the next Session of Congress — Arrangement of the Judiciary 
Department — Edmund Randolph — Adjournment of Congress — 
Its Character, by Fisher Ames .... , 138 

6 <?oi}tei}t8 


The Department of State still without a Head — Sketch of Jeffer- 
son's Character and Opinions — Deeply immersed in French Poli- 
tics at Paris — Gouverneur Morris abroad — Contrast of his and 
Jefferson's Views on the French Crisis— News of the French 
Revolution in America — Popular Excitement — Washington's 
cautious Opinion on the Subject — Hamilton's apprehensive 
View — Jefferson offered a Place in the Cabinet as Secretary 
of State 148 


Washington's Journey through the Eastern States— John Hancock 
— Clashing between the Civil and Municipal Authorities on the 
President's Entry into Boston — A Contest of Etiquette — Wash- 
ington's Account of his Entry — His Reception — A new Punc- 
tilio—Address of the Cincinnati Society — Return to New 
York 156 


Col. John Trumbull — Message to Washington from Lafayette — Jef- 
ferson's Embarkation for America — Washington forwards his 
Commission as Secretary of State — His Acceptance . . . 162 


Reassembling of Congress — Financial Condition of the Country — Its 
Debt at Home and Abroad — Debts of the States — Hamilton's 
Report^— Opposition to it — Dr. Stuart's warning Letter to Wash- 
ington — His Reply — Jefferson's arrival at the Seat of Gov- 
ernment — New York at that Period — Jefferson apprehends 
Monarchial Designs 166 


The Assumption of the State Debts discussed — Washington in Favor 
— A Majority of Two against it — Hamilton's Appeal to Jeffer 

son on the Subject — The latter arranges for a Compromise — His 
Account of it — Adjustment about the Saat of Government — As- 
sumption carried — Treaty of Peace with the Creeks — Cavilings 
about Presidential Etiquette — Washington's Defense — Adjourn- 
ment of Congress — Fancied Harmony of the Cabinet — Jefferson 
suspects Hamilton of Finesse in procuring his Agency in the 
Assumption 176 


Lafayette at the Head of the Revolution in France — His Letter to 
Washington — Gouverneur Morris's Opinion of his Position — 
Washington's dubious and anxious Views — Presented by La- 
fayette with the Key of the Bastile — Visits Rhode Island and 
Mount Vernon 183 


Frontier Difficulties with the Indians— General Harmer's Expedi- 
tion against them — Ambuscade of Col. Hardin's Detachment — 
Escape of Capt. Armstrong— A second Detachment of Col. 
Hardin compelled to retreat — Washington's long Anxiety as 
to the Result of the Enterprise — Final Tidings . . . 188 


Congress reassembles at Philadelphia — Residence of Washington at 
the new Seat of Government — The State Carriage — Hamilton's 
Financial Arrangements — Impost and Excise Bill — Passage of 
a Bill for a National Bank— Jefferson's Objections— Formation 
of two Political Parties under Hamilton and Jefferson — Their 
different Views — Dissatisfaction of Congress at the Report of 
Harmer's Expedition — Washington's Address to the Seneca 
Chiefs — His Desire to civilize the Savages — Kentucky and Ver- 
mont admitted into the Union — First Congress expires — A new 
Expedition projected against the Hostile Tribes under General 
St. Clair — Washington's Solemn Warning on taking Leave of 
him 192 

b <?or)ter)ts 


Washington's Tour through the Southern States — Letter to La- 
fayette — Gloomy Picture of French Affairs by Gouverneur 
Morris — His Allusion to Lafayette — Lafayette depicts the 
Troubles of a Patriot Leader — "Washington's Reply — Jefferson's 
ardent Views of the French Revolution — Distrust of John 
Adams — His Contributions to "Fenno's Gazette"— Reprint of 
Paine's Rights of Man — Flight and Recapture of Louis XVI. — 
Jefferson communicates the News to Washington — His satisfac- 
tion when the King accepts the Constitution .... 196 


Rural Hours at Mount Vernon — Assembling of Second Congress — 
Washington's opening Speech — Two Expeditions organized 
against the Indians, under Scott and Wilkinson — Their feeble 
Result — Third Expedition under St. Clair — His disastrous Con- 
test and dismal Retreat — How Washington received the In- 
telligence .206 


The Apportionment Bill — Washington's Veto — His Concern at the 
growing Asperities of Congress — Intended Retirement — Jeffer- 
son's determination to retire at the same Time —Remonstrance 
of Washington — His Request to Madison to prepare Valedictory 
— Wayne appointed to succeed St. Clair — Congress adjourns — 
Washington at Mount Vernon — Suggests Topics for his Fare- 
well Address — Madison's Draft — Jefferson urges his continu- 
ance 217 


Jefferson's Suspicions — Contemned by Hamilton — Washington's 
Expostulation — Complains of the Conduct of Freneau's Paper 
— Hamilton and Randolph urge him to a Re-election — A war- 
ring Cabinet— Hamilton's attack on Jefferson— Washington's 

<?oi)tept8 9 

healing Admonition — Replies of the two Secretaries — Continued 
Hostility to the Excise Law — Washington's Proclamation — Re- 
newed Effort to allay the Discord in his Cabinet . . . 220 


Washington unanimously re-elected — Opening of Session of Con- 
gress — Topics of the President's Speech — Abortive attack upon 
the Secretary of the Treasury — Washington installed for his 
Second Term 344 


Gouverneur Morris Minister at the French Court — His Representa- 
tions of the State of Affairs — Washington's Concern for La- 
fayette — Jefferson annoyed at his Forebodings — Overthrow of 
the French Monarchy — Imprisonment of Lafayette — Jefferson 
concerned, but not discouraged at the Republican Massacres — 
Washington shocked — His Letter to the Marchioness La- 
fayette 348 


Washington's Entrance upon his Second Term — Gloomy Auspices — 
Execution of Louis XVI. — France declares War against Eng- 
land — Belligerent Excitement in America — Proclamation of 
Neutrality — French Mission to the United States — Genet ar- 
rives in Charleston — His Reception in Philadelphia — Views of 
Jefferson and Hamilton — Washington's dispassionate Opin- 
ion 354 


Genet presents his Letter of Credence — His Diplomatic Speech — 
Washington's Conversation with Jefferson — Capture of the Ship 
"Grange" and other British Vessels — Question of Restitution — 
Dissatisfaction of Genet — Demands Release of two American 
Citizens — Washington's Sensitiveness to the Attacks of the 
Press — His unshaken Determination ...... 261 

10 <?oi)ter>t8 


Washington called to Mount Vernon — The case of the "Little 
Sarah" comes up in his Absence — Governor Mifflin determined 
to prevent her Departure — Rage of Genet — Jefferson urges De- 
tention of the Privateer until the President's Return — Evasive 
Assurance of Genet — Distrust of Hamilton and Knox — Wash- 
ington returns to Philadelphia — A Cabinet Council — Its De- 
termination communicated to Genet — The Vessel sails in De- 
fiance of it — Formation of the Democratic Society — The Recall 
of Genet determined on — The Ribald Lampoon — Washington's 
Outburst 267 


Threatened Dissolution of the Cabinet — Action between the "Am- 
buscade" and "Boston" — Triumphant return of the former to 
New York — A French Fleet arrives same Day — Excitement of 
the People — Genet arrives in the midst of it — His enthusiastic 
Reception — Is informed by Jefferson of the Measures for his 
Recall — His Rage and Reply — Decline of his Popularity . . 275 


Neutrality endangered by Great Britain — Her Ill-advised Measures 
— Detention of Vessels bound for France — Impressment of 
American Seamen — Persistence in holding the Western Posts 
— Congress assembles in December — The President's opening 
Speech— His Censure of Genet — The Vice-President's Allusion 
to it — The Administration in a Minority in the House — Procla- 
mation of Neutrality sustained — Jefferson's Report— Retires 
from the Cabinet — His parting Rebuke to Genet — His Char- 
acter of Washington 283 


Debate on Jefferson's Report on Commercial Intercourse — A Naval 
Force proposed for the Protection of Commerce against Pirat- 
ical Cruisers — Further Instances of the Audacity of Genet — His 

^optepts 11 

Recall — Arrival of his Successor — Irritation excited by British 
Captures of American Vessels — Preparations for Defense — Em- 
bargo — Intense Excitement at "British Spoliations'' — Partisans 
of France in the ascendant — A Chance for Accommodating 
Difficulties — Jefferson's Hopes of Reconciliation — The War Cry 
uppermost — Washington determines to send a Special Envoy to 
the British Government — Jefferson's Letter to Tench Coxe . 291 


James Monroe appointed Minister to France in place of Gouverneur 
Morris recalled — His Reception — Pennsylvania Insurrection — 
Proclamation of Washington — Perseverance of the Insurgents 
— Second Proclamation — The President proceeds against them 
— General Morgan — Lawrence Lewis — Washington arranges a 
Plan of Military Operations — Returns to Philadelphia, leav- 
ing Lee in Command — Submission of the Insurgents — The Presi- 
dent's Letter on the Subject to Jay, Minister at London . . 301 


Washington's Denunciation of Self -created Societies — Not relished 
by Congress — Campaign of General Wayne — Hamilton reports 
a Plan for the Redemption of the Public Debt — And retires 
from his Post as Secretary of the Treasury — Is succeeded by 
Oliver Wolcott — Resignation of Knox— Succeeded by Timothy 
Pickering — Close of the Session 310 


Washington's Anxiety about the Progress of the Negotiation with 
England — Jay's Treaty arrives for Ratification — Predisposition 
to condemn — Return of Jay — Adet succeeds Fauchet as Minis- 
ter from France— The Treaty laid before the Senate— Ratified 
with a Qualification — A Novel Question — Popular Discontent — 
Abstract of the Treaty published — Violent Opposition to it — 
Washington resolved to Ratify — His Resolution suspended — 
Goes to Mount Vernon — Reply to an Address from Boston 
— Increasing Clamor 316 

12 $oi)tei)ts 


Washington recalled to the Seat of Government — Conduct of Ran- 
dolph brought in Question — Treaty signed — Resignation of Ran- 
dolph — His Correspondence with Washington— Unlimited Dis- 
closure permitted — Appearance of his Vindication — Pickering 
transferred to the Department of State — McHenry appointed 
Secretary of War — Arrival of George Washington Lafayette . 324 


Meeting of Congress — Washington's Official Summary of the 
Events of the Year — Cordial Response of the Senate — Partial 
Demur of the House — Washington's Position and Feelings 
with regard to England, as shown by himself — Mr. Adet pre- 
sents the Colors of France — The Treaty returned — Proceedings 
thereupon — Thomas Pinckney resigns as Minister at London — 
Ruf us King appointed in his place — Washington's View of the 
Political Campaign — Jefferson's Fears of an Attempt to sow 
Dissension between him and Washington — Mr. Monroe recalled, 
and C. C. Pinckney appointed in his Stead — ReS . J^tful Policy of 
France 334 


Washington's Farewell Address — Meets the two Houses of Congress 
for the last Time — His Speech — Replies of the Senate and House 
— Mr. Giles — Andrew Jackson — Offensive Publication of the 
French Minister — John Adams declared President — Washing- 
ton's Letter to Knox on the Eve of his Retirement —The Spuri- 
ous Letters— His Farewell Dinner — John Adams takes the Oath 
of Office — Greetings of Washington at the close of the 
Ceremony 347 


Washington at Mount Vernon — Influx of strange Faces — Lawrence 
Lewis — Miss Nelly Custis — Washington's Counsel in Love Mat 
ters — A Romantic Episode — Return of George Washington La- 
fayette 358 

<?oi)tei)t8 13 


Parting Address of the French Directory to Mr. Monroe — The new 
American Minister ordered to leave the Republic — Congress con- 
vened — Measures of Defense recommended — Washington's Con- 
cern — Appointment of three Envoys Extraordinary — Doubts 
their Success — Hears of an old Companion in Arms — The three 
Ministers and Talleyrand — Their degrading Treatment — Threat- 
ened War with France — Washington appointed Commander-in- 
chief — Arranges for three Major-Generals— Knox aggrieved . 36* 


Washington taxed anew with the Cares of Office — Correspondence 
with Lafayette — A Marriage at Mount Vernon — Appointment 
of a Minister to the French Republic — Washington's Surprise — 
His Activity on his Estate— Political Anxieties — Concern about 
the Army 38S 


Washington digests a Plan for the Management of his Estate— His 
views in regard to a Military Academy — Letter to Hamilton — 
His Last Hours — The Funeral — The Will — Its Provisions in re- 
gard to his Slaves — Proceedings of Congress on his Death— Con- 
clusion . 390 


I. Portraits of Washington . 403 

II. Washington's Farewell Address ....... 433 

III. Proceedings of Congress in consequence of the Death of Wash- 

ington 459 

IV. Washington's Will 465 

Index • o « . 481 






Discontents of the Army at Newburg — Memorial of the Officers to 
Congress — Anonymous Papers circulated in the Camp — Meeting 
of Officers called — Address of Washington — Resolutions in Con- 
sequence — Letters of Washington to the President — His Opinion 
of the Anonymous Addresses and their Author 

The anxious fears of "Washington, in regard to what 
might take place on the approaching reduction of the army, 
were in some degree realized. After the meeting with the 
French army at Verplanck's Point, he had drawn up his 
forces to his former encampment at Newburg, where he 
established his headquarters for the winter. In the leisure 
and idleness of a winter camp the discontents of the army 
had time to ferment. The arrearages of pay became a topic 
of constant and angry comment, as well as the question 
whether the resolution of Congress, granting half pay to 
officers who should serve to the end of the war, would be 
carried into effect. Whence were the funds to arise for such 
half pay? The national treasury was empty; the States 
were slow to tax themselves ; the resource of foreign loans 
was nearly exhausted. The articles of confederation re- 
quired the concurrence of nine States to any act appropriate 


20 U/or^s of U/a8fyir)<$t:0Q Irving 

ing public money. There had never been nine States in 
favor of the half-pay establishment ; was it probable that as 
many would concur in applying any scanty funds that might 
accrue, and which would be imperiously demanded for many 
other purposes, to the payment of claims known to be un- 
popular, and to the support of men, who, the necessity for 
their services being at an end, might be regarded as drones 
in the community? 

The result of these boding conferences was a memorial to 
Congress in December, from the officers in camp, on behalf 
of the army, representing the hardships of the case, and pro- 
posing that a specific sum should be granted them for the 
money actually due, and as a commutation for half pay. 
Three officers were deputed to present the memorial to Con- 
gress, and watch over and promote its success. 

The memorial gave rise to animated and long discussions 
in Congress. Some members were for admitting the claims 
as founded on engagements entered into by the nation ; oth- 
ers were for referring them to the respective States of the 
claimants. The winter passed away without any definite 
measures on the subject. 

On the tenth day of March, 1783, an anonymous paper 
was circulated through the camp, calling a meeting at eleven 
o'clock the next day, of the general and field-officers, of an 
officer from each company, and a delegate from the medical 
§taff, to consider a letter just received from their representa- 
tives in Philadelphia, and what measures, if any, should be 
adopted to obtain that redress of grievances which they 
seemed to have solicited in vain. 

On the following morning an anonymous address to the 
officers of the army was privately put in circulation. It pro- 
fessed to be from a fellow-soldier, who had shared in their 

Cife of U/asl?iD$toi? t\ 

toils and mingled in their dangers, and who till very lately 
had believed in the justice of his country. 

"After a pursuit of seven long years," observed he, "the 
object for which we set out is at length brought within our 
reach. Yes, my friends, that suffering courage of yours 
was active once; it has conducted the United States of 
America through a doubtful and bloody war; it has placed 
her in the chair of independency, and peace returns to bless 
— whom? a country willing to redress your wrongs, cherish 
your worth, and reward your services? a country courting 
your return to private life, with tears of gratitude and smiles 
of admiration, longing to divide with you that independency 
which your gallantry has given, and those riches which your 
wounds have preserved? Is this the case? or is it rather a 
country that tramples upon your rights, disdains your cries, 
and insults your distresses? Have you not more than once 
suggested your wishes, and made known your wants to Con- 
gress — wants and wishes which gratitude and policy should 
have anticipated, rather than evaded? And have you not 
lately, in the meek language of entreating memorials, begged 
from their justice what you could no longer expect from 
their favor? How have you been answered? Let the letter, 
which you are called to consider to-morrow, make reply ! 

"If this, then, be your treatment, while the swords you 
wear are necessary for the defense of America, what have 
you to expect from peace, when your voice shall sink, and 
your strength dissipate by division ; when those very swords, 
the instruments and companions of your glory, shall be taken 
from your sides and no remaining mark of military distinc- 
tion left but your wants, infirmities and scars? Can you 
then consent to be the only sufferers by this Revolution, 
and, retiring from the field, grow old in povery, wretched- 

22 U/orl^s of U/asfyip^tor) lruio$ 

ness and contempt? Can you consent to wade through the 
vile mire of dependency, and owe the miserable remnant of 
that life to charity which has hitherto been spent in honor? 
If you can, go, and carry with you the jest of tories, and the 
scorn of whigs; the ridicule, and, what is worse, the pity of 
the world! Go, starve and be forgotten! But if your spirits 
should revolt at this; if you have sense enough to discover, 
and spirit sufficient to oppose tyranny, under whatever garb 
it may assume, whether it be the plain coat of republican- 
ism, or the splendid robe of royalty; if you have yet learned 
to discriminate between a people and a cause, between men 
and principles; awake, attend to your situation, and redress 
yourselves! If the present moment be lost, every future 
effort is in vain; and your threats then will be as empty as 
your entreaties now. 

"I would advise you, therefore, to come to some final 
opinion upon what you can bear, and what you will suffer. 
If your determination be in any proportion to your wrongs, 
carry your appeal from the justice to the fears of govern- 
ment. Change the milk-and-water style of your last memo- 
rial. Assume a bolder tone, decent, but lively, spirited and 
determined ; and suspect the man who would advise to more 
moderation and longer forbearance. Let two or three men, 
who can feel as well as write, be appointed to draw up your 
last remonstrance, for I would no longer give it the suing, 
soft, unsuccessful epithet of memorial. Let it represent in 
language, that will neither dishonor you by its rudeness, nor 
betray you by its fears, what has been promised by Con~ 
gress, and what has been performed; how long and how pa- 
tiently you have suffered; how little you have asked, and 
how much cf that little has been denied. Tell them that, 
though you were the first, and would wish to be the last, to 

Cife of U/asl?i9<$t09 23 

encounter danger, though despair itself can never drive you 
into dishonor, it may drive you from the field; that the 
wound, often irritated and never healed, may at length be- 
come incurable; and that the slightest mark of indignity 
from Congress now, must operate like the grave, and part 
you forever; that, in any political event, the army has its 
alternative. If peace, that nothing shall separate you from 
your arms but death; if war, that courting the auspices, and 
inviting the direction of your illustrious leader, you will re- 
tire to some unsettled country, smile in your turn, and 'mock 
when their fear cometh on. ' But let it represent, also, that 
should they comply with the request of your late memorial, 
it would make you more happy and them more respecta- 
ble; that, while war should continue, you would follow 
their standard into the field; and when it came to an 
end you would withdraw into the shade of private life, 
and give the world another subject of wonder and ap- 
plause; an army victorious over its enemies, victorious 
over itself. 1 ' 

This bold and eloquent, but dangerous appeal, founded 
as it was upon the wrongs and sufferings of a gallant army 
and the shameful want of sympathy in tardy legislators, 
called for the full exercise of Washington's characteristic 
firmness, caution and discrimination. In general orders he 
noticed the anonymous paper, but expressed his confidence 
that the good sense of officers would prevent them from pay- 
ing attention to such an irregular invitation ; which he repro- 
bated as disorderly. With a view to counteract its effects, 
he requested a like meeting of officers on the 15th instant, 
to hear the report of the committee deputed to Congress 
"After mature deliberation,'' added he, "they will devise 
what further measures ought to be adopted as most rational 

24 U/orKs of U/ast?ir}$tor) Iruip^ 

and best calculated to obtain the just and important object 

in view." 

On the following day another anonymous address was 
circulated, written in a more moderate tone, but to the same 
purport with the first, and affecting to construe the general 
orders into an approbation of the object sought; only chang- 
ing the day appointed for the meeting. "Till now/' it ob- 
served, "the commander-in-chief has regarded the steps you 
have taken for redress with good wishes alone ; his ostensible 
silence has authorized your meetings, and his private opinion 
sanctified your claims. Had he disliked the object in view 
would not the same sense of duty which forbade you from 
meeting on the third day of the week have forbidden you 
from meeting on the seventh? Is not the same subject held 
up to your view? and has it not passed the seal of office, and 
taken all the solemnity of an order? This will give system 
to your proceedings and stability to your resolves," etc., 

On Saturday, the 15th of March, the meeting took place. 
Washington had previously sent for the officers, one by one, 
in private, and enlarged on the loss of character to the whole 
army that would result from intemperate resolutions. At 
the meeting, General Gates was called to the chair. "Wash- 
ington rose and apologized for appearing there, which he 
had not intended to do when he issued the order directing the 
assemblage. The diligence, however, which had been used 
in circulating anonymous writings rendered it necessary he 
should give his sentiments to the army on the nature and 
tendency of them. He had taken this opportunity to do so, 
and had committed his thoughts to writing, which, with the 
indulgence of his brother officers, he would take the liberty 
of reading to them. 

Cife of U/as^iQ^tOQ 25 

He then proceeded to read a forcible and feeling address, 
pointing out the irregularity and impropriety of the recent 
anonymous summons, and the dangerous nature of the 
anonymous address; a production, as he observed, ad- 
dressed more to the feelings ana passions than to the judg- 
ment ; drawn with great art, calculated to impress the mind 
with an idea of premeditated injustice in the sovereign power 
of the United States, and to rouse all those resentments 
which must unavoidably flow from such a belief. 

On these principles he had opposed the irregular and 
hasty meeting appointed in the anonymous summons, not 
from a disinclination to afford officers every opportunity, 
consistent with their own honor and the dignity of the army, 
to make known their grievances. "If my conduct hereto- 
fore," said he, "has not evinced to you that I have been a 
faithful friend to the army, my declaration of it at this time 
would be equally unavailing and improper. But as I was 
among the first who embarked in the cause of our common 
country ; as I have never left your side one moment, but 
when called from you on public duty ; as I have been the 
constant companion and witness of your distresses, and not 
among the last to feel and acknowledge your merits; as I 
have ever considered my own military reputation as insepa- 
rably connected with that of the army ; as my heart has ever 
expanded with joy when I have heard its praises, and my 
indignation has arisen when the mouth of detraction has 
been opened against it ; it can scarcely be supposed at this 
last stage of the war that I am indifferent to its inter 
ests. . . . 

"For myself," observes he, in another part of his ad- 
dress, "a recollection of the cheerful assistance and prompt 
obedience I have experienced from you under every vicissi- 

Vol. XV.— ***2 

26 ll/orl^s of U/a8^ip^tor> Iruio$ 

tude of fortune, and the sincere affection I feel for an army 
£ have so long had the honor to command, will oblige me to 
declare in this public and solemn manner that for the attain- 
ment of complete justice for all your toils and dangers, and 
the gratification of every wish, so far as may be done con- 
sistently with the great duty I owe my country and those 
powers we are bound to respect, you may fully command my 
services to the utmost extent of my abilities. 

" "While I give you these assurances, and pledge myself 
in the most unequivocal manner to exert whatever abilities I 
am possessed of in your favor, let me entreat you, gentle- 
men, on your part, not to take any measures which, viewed 
in the calm light of reason, will lessen the dignity and sully 
the glory you have hitherto maintained ; let me request you 
to rely on the plighted faith of your country, and place a 
full confidence in the purity of the intentions of Congress ; 
that, previous to your dissolution as an army, they will cause 
all your accounts to be fairly liquidated, as directed in the 
resolutions which were published to you two days ago ; and 
that they will adopt the most effectual measures in their 
power to render ample justice to you for your faithful and 
meritorious services. And let me conjure you, in the name 
of our common county, as you value your own sacred honor, 
as you respect the rights of humanity, and as you regard the 
military and national character of America, to express your 
utmost horror and detestation of the man who wishes, under 
any specious pretenses, to overturn the liberties of our coun- 
try ; and who wickedly attempts to open the flood-gates of 
civil discord, and deluge our rising empire in blood. By 
thus determining and thus acting, you will pursue the plain 
and direct road to the attainment of your wishes; you will 
defeat the insidious designs of our enemies, who are com- 

Cife of U/asfyiQ<$tor) 27 

pelled to resort from open force to secret artifice; you will 
give one more distinguished proof of unexampled patriotism 
and patient virtue, rising superior to the pressure of the 
most complicated sufferings; and you will, by the dignity 
of your conduct, afford occasion for posterity to say, when 
speaking of the glorious example you have exhibited to 
mankind — 'Had this day been wanting, the world had 
never seen the last stage of perfection to which human 
nature is capable of attaining.' " 

After he had concluded the address, he observed, that as 
a corroborating testimony of the good disposition in Congress 
toward the army, he would communicate to them a letter re- 
ceived from a worthy member of that body, who on all occa- 
sions had approved himself their fast friend. He produced 
an able letter from the Hon. Joseph Jones, which, while it 
pointed out the difficulties and embarrassments of Congress, 
held up very forcibly the idea that the army would, at all 
events, be generously dealt with. 

Major Shaw, who was present, and from whose memoir 
we note this scene, relates that Washington, after reading 
the first paragraph of the letter, made a short pause, took 
out his spectacles, and begged the indulgence of his audience 
while he put them on, observing at the same time that he 
had grown gray in their service, and now found himself 
groiving blind, "There was something," adds Shaw, "so 
natural, so unaffected, in this appeal, as rendered it superior 
to the most studied oratory ; it forced its way to the heart, 
and you might see sensibility moisten every eye." 

"Happy for America," continues Major Shaw, "that she 
has a patriot army, and equally so that Washington is its 
leader. I rejoice in the opportunity I have had of seeing 
this great man in a variety of situations — calm and intrepid 


■ ■ L 


28 U/orl^s of U/asfyip^toi} Irvipo" 

when the battle raged; patient and persevering under the 
pressure of misfortune; moderate and possessing himself in 
the full career of victory. Great as these qualifications de- 
servedly render him, he never appeared to me more truly so 
than at the assembly we have been speaking of. On other 
occasions he has been supported by the exertions of an army 
and the countenance of his friends ; but on this he stood sin- 
gle and alone. There was no saying where the passions of 
an army which were not a little inflamed might lead ; but it 
was generally allowed that further forbearance was danger- 
ous, and moderation had ceased to be a virtue. Under these 
circumstances he appeared, not at the head of his troops, 
but, as it were, in opposition to them; and for a dreadful 
moment the interests of the army and its general seemed to 
be in competition! He spoke— every doubt was dispelled, 
and the tide of patriotism rolled again in its wonted course. 
Illustrious man ! What he says of the army may with equal 
justice be applied to his own character— 'Had this day been 
wanting, the world had never seen the last stage of perfec- 
tion to which human nature is capable of attaining. ' " * 

The moment Washington retired from the assemblage, a 
resolution was moved by the warm-hearted Knox, seconded 
by General Putnam, and passed unanimously, assuring him 
that the officers reciprocated his affectionate expressions with 
the greatest sincerity of which the human heart is capable. 
Then followed resolutions declaring that no circumstances of 
distress or danger should induce a conduct calculated to sully 
the reputation and glory acquired at the price of their blood 
and eight years' faithful services; that they continued to 
have an unshaken confidence in the justice of Congress and 

* Quincy's Memoir of Major Shaw, p. 104. 

Cife of U/asf?ii)<$toi) 29 

their country; and that the commander-in-chief should be 
requested to write to the President of Congress, earnestly 
entreating a speedy decision on the late address forwarded 
by a committee of the army. 

A letter was accordingly written by "Washington, breath- 
ing that generous, yet well-tempered spirit, with which he 
ever pleaded the cause of the army. 

"The result of the proceedings of the grand convention of 
officers," said he, "which I have the honor of inclosing to 
your Excellency for the inspection of Congress, will, I flat- 
ter myself, be considered as the last glorious proof of patriot- 
ism which could have been given by men who aspired to the 
distinction of a patriot army, and will not only confirm their 
claim to the justice, but will increase their title to the grati- 
tude of their country. 

"Having seen the proceedings on the part of the army 
terminate with perfect unanimity, and in a manner entirely 
consonant to my wishes; being impressed with the liveliest 
sentiments of affection for those who have so long, so pa- 
tiently and so cheerfully suffered and fought under my im- 
mediate direction; having, from motives of justice, duty 
and gratitude, spontaneously offered myself as an advocate 
for their Tights ; and having been requested to write to your 
Excellency, earnestly entreating the most speedy decision of 
Congress upon the subjects of the late address from the 
army to that honorable body; it only remains for me to 
perform the task I have assumed, and to intercede on their 
behalf, as I now do, that the sovereign power will be pleased 
to verify the predictions I have pronounced, and the con- 
fidence the army have reposed in the justice of their 

After referring to former representations made by him 

30 U/orl^s of u7ast?io$tor) IruiQ$ 

to Congress, on the subject of a half pay to be granted to 
officers for life, he adds: "If, besides the simple payment 
of their wages, a further compensation is not due to the 
sufferings and sacrifices of the officers, then have I been mis- 
taken indeed. If the whole army have not merited what- 
ever a grateful people can bestow, then have I been beguiled 
by prejudice and built opinion on the basis of error. If this 
country should not, in the event, perform everything which 
has been requested in the late memorial to Congress, then 
will my belief become vain, and the hope that has been ex- 
cited, void of foundation. And if, as has been suggested for 
the purpose of inflaming their passions, 'the officers of the 
army are to be the only sufferers by the Revolution; if, 
retiring from the field, they are to grow old in poverty, 
wretchedness and contempt ; if they are to wade through the 
vile mire of dependency, and owe the miserable remnant of 
that life to charity which has hitherto been spent in honor;' 
then shall I have learned what ingratitude is, then shall I 
have realized a tale which will imbitter every moment of my 
future life. But I am under no such apprehensions. A 
country, rescued by their arms from impending ruin, will 
never leave unpaid the debt of gratitude." 

This letter to the President was accompanied by other 
letters to members of Congress ; all making similar direct 
and eloquent appeals. The subject was again taken up in 
Congress, nine States concurred in a resolution commuting 
the half pay into a sum equal to five years' whole pay ; and 
the whole matter, at one moment so fraught with danger to 
the republic, through the temperate wisdom of Washington 
was happily adjusted. 

The anonymous addresses to the army, which were con- 
sidered at the time so insidious and inflammatory, and which 

Cife of U/asl?ir><$tor> 31 

certainly were ill-judged and dangerous, have since been 
avowed by General John Armstrong, a man who had sus- 
tained with great credit to himself various eminent posts un- 
der our government. At the time of writing them he was 
a young man, aid-de-camp to General Gates, and he did it 
at the request of a number of his fellow-officers, indignant at 
the neglect of their just claims by Congress, and in the be- 
lief that the tardy movements of that body required the spur 
and the lash. Washington, in a letter dated 23d January, 
1797, says, "I have since had sufficient reason for believing 
that the object of the author was just, honorable and friendly 
to the country, though the means suggested by him were 
certainly liable to much misunderstanding and abuse.' ' 


News of Peace — Letter of Washington in Behalf of the Army — 
Cessation of Hostilities proclaimed — Order of the Cincinnati 
formed — Letter of Washington to the State Governors — Mutiny- 
in the Pennsylvania Line — Letter of Washington on the Subject 
— Tour to the Northern Posts 

At length arrived the wished-for news of peace. A gen- 
eral treaty had been signed at Paris on the 20th of January. 
An armed vessel, the "Triumph," belonging to the Count 
d'Estaing's squadron, arrived at Philadelphia from Cadiz, 
on the 23d of March, bringing a letter from the Marquis de 
Lafayette to the President of Congress, communicating the 
intelligence. In a few days Sir Guy Carleton informed 
"Washington by letter that he was ordered to proclaim a 
cessation of hostilities by sea and Imd. 

32 U/orl^s of U/as^ip^tor) Iruir?<$ 

A similar proclamation, issued by Congress, was received 
by "Washington on the 17th of April. Being unaccompanied 
by any instructions respecting the discharge of the part of 
the army with him, should the measure be deemed neces- 
sary, he found himself in a perplexing situation. 

The accounts of peace received at different times had 
raised an expectation in the minds of those of his troops that 
had engaged "for the war," that a speed}- discharge must 
be the consequence of the proclamation. Most of them could 
not distinguish between a proclamation of a cessation of hos- 
tilities and a definitive declaration of peace, and might con- 
sider any further claim on their military services an act of 
injustice. It was becoming difficult to enforce the discipline 
necessary to the coherence of an army. "W ashington repre- 
sented these circumstances in a letter to the president, and 
earnestly entreated a prompt determination on the part of 
Congress as to what was to be the period of the services of 
these men, and how he was to act respecting their discharge. 

One suggestion of his letter is expressive of his strong 
sympathy with the patriot soldier, and his knowledge of 
what formed a matter of pride with the poor fellows who 
had served and suffered under him. He urged that, in dis- 
charging those who had been engaged "for the war," the 
non-commissioned officers and soldiers should be allowed to 
take with them, as their own property, and as a gratuity, 
their arms and accouterments. "This act," observes he, 
"would raise pleasing sensations in the minds of these 
wortlry and faithful men, who, from their early engag- 
ing in the war at moderate bounties, and from their patient 
continuance under innumerable distresses, have not only 
deserved nobly of their country, but have obtained an hon- 
orable distinction over \bose who, with shorter terms, have 

Cife of U/asl?fT?<$t09 33 

gained large pecuniary rewards. This, at a comparatively 
small expense, would be deemed an honorable testimonial 
from Congress of the regard they bear to these distinguished 
worthies, and the sense they have of their suffering virtues 
and services. . . . 

" These constant companions of their toils, preserved with 
sacred attention, would be handed down from the present 
possessors to their children, as honorary badges of bravery 
and military merit ; and would probably be brought forth on 
some future occasion, with pride and exultation, to be im- 
proved with the same military ardor and emulation in the 
hands of posterity, as they have been used by their fore- 
fathers in the present establishment and foundation of our 
national independence and glory.' ' 

This letter dispatched, he notified in general orders that 
the cessation of hostilities should be proclaimed at noon on 
the following day, and read in the evening at the head of 
every regiment and corps of the army, "after which,' ' adds 
he, "the chaplains with the several brigades will render 
thanks to Almighty God for all His mercies, particularly 
for His overruling the wrath of man to His own glory, and 
causing the rage of war to cease among the nations." 

Having noticed that this auspicious day, the 19th of April 
completed the eighth year of the war, and was the anni- 
versary of the eventful conflict at Lexington, he went on in 
general orders to impress upon the army a proper idea of 
the dignified part they were called upon to act. 

"The generous task for which we first flew to arms being 
accomplished; the liberties of our country being fully ac- 
knowledged and firmly secured, and the characters of those 
who have persevered through every extremity of hardship, 
suffering and danger, being immortalized by the illustrious 

34 Worlds of WastyvqtOT) Iruipo; 

appellation of the patriot army, nothing now remains but 
for the actors of this mighty scene to preserve a perfect, un- 
varying consistency of character, through the very last act, 
to close the drama with applause, and to retire from the 
military theater with the same approbation of angels and 
men which has crowned all their former virtuous actions." 

The letter which he had written to the president produced 
a resolution in Congress, that the service of the men engaged 
in the war did not expire until the ratification of the defini- 
tive articles of peace ; but that the commander-in-chief might 
grant furloughs to such as he thought proper, and that they 
should be allowed to take their arms with them. 

"Washington availed himself freely of this permission: 
furloughs were granted without stint; the men set out singly 
or in small parties for their rustic homes, and the danger 
and inconvenience were avoided of disbanding large masses, 
at a time, of unpaid soldiery. Now and then were to be 
seen three or four in a group, bound probably to the same 
neighborhood, beguiling the way with camp jokes and camp 
stories. The war-worn soldier was always kindly received 
at the farmhouses along the road, where he might shoulder 
his gun and fight over his battles. The men thus dismissed 
on furlough were never called upon to rejoin the army. 
Once at home, they sank into domestic life; their weapons 
were hung up over their fireplaces— military trophies of the 
Revolution to be prized by future generations. 

In the meantime Sir Guy Carleton was making prepara- 
tions for the evacuation of the city of New York. The mo- 
ment he had received the royal order for the cessation of 
hostilities, he had written for all the shipping that could be 
procured from Europe and the West Indies. As early as 
the 27th of April a jfleet had sailed for different parts of 

Cife of U/asl?ii)<$t09 35 

Nova Scotia, carrying off about seven thousand persons, 
with all their effects. A great part of these were troops, 
but many were royalists and refugees, exiled by the laws of 
the United States. They looked forward with a dreary eye 
to their voyage, "bound," as one of them said, "to a coun- 
try where there were nine months of winter and three 
months of cold weather every year." 

On the 6th of May a personal conference took place be- 
tween Washington and Sir Guy at Orangetown, about the 
transfer of posts in the United States, held by the British 
troops, and the delivery of all property stipulated by the 
treaty to be given up to the Americans. On the 8th of May, 
Egbert Benson, William S. Smith and Daniel Parker were 
commissioned by Congress to inspect and superintend at 
New York the embarkation of persons and property, in ful- 
fillment of the seventh article of the provisional treaty. 

While sadness and despair prevailed among the tories and 
refugees in New York, the officers in the patriot camp on the 
Hudson were not without gloomy feelings at the thought of 
their approaching separation from each other. Eight years 
of dangers and hardships, shared in common and nobly sus- 
tained, had welded their hearts together, and made it hard 
to rend them asunder. Prompted by such feelings, General 
Knox, ever noted for generous impulses, suggested, as a 
mode of perpetuating the friendships thus formed and keep- 
ing alive the brotherhood of the camp, the formation of a 
society composed of the officers of the army. The sugges- 
tion met with universal concurrence, and the hearty appro- 
bation of Washington. 

Meetings were held, at which the Baron Steuben, as 
senior officer, presided. A plan was drafted by a commit- 
tee composed of Generals Knox, Hand, and Huntingdon, 

36 U/orKs of U/asI?ir)<$toi} Iruii?©; 

and Captain Shaw, and the society was organized at a meet- 
ing held on the 13th of May, at the baron's quarters in the 
old Verplanck House, near Fishkill. 

By its formula, the officers of the American army in the 
most solemn manner combined themselves into one society 
of friends to endure as long as they should endure, or any 
of their eldest male posterity, and in failure thereof, their 
collateral branches who might be judged worthy of being its 
supporters and members. In memory of the illustrious Ro- 
man, Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus, who retired from war to 
the peaceful duties of the citizen, it was to be called c ' The 
Society of the Cincinnati." The objects proposed by it were 
to preserve inviolate the rights and liberties for which they 
had contended ; to promote and cherish national honor and 
union between the States ; to maintain brotherly kindness to- 
ward each other, and extend relief to such officers and their 
families as might stand in need of it. 

In order to obtain funds for the purpose, each officer was 
to contribute one month's pay, the interest only to be appro- 
priated to the relief of the unfortunate. The general society, 
for the sake of frequent communications, was to be divided 
into State societies, and these again into districts. The gen- 
eral society was to meet annually on the first Monday in 
May, the State societies on each 4th of July, the districts 
as often as should be agreed on by the State society. 

The society was to have an insignia called "The Order 
of the Cincinnati." It was to be a golden American eagle 
bearing on its breast emblematical devices; this was to be 
suspended by a deep-blue ribbon two inches wide, edged 
with white; significative of the union of America with 

Individuals of the respective States, distinguished for 

Cife of U/asbir?<$tor> 37 

patriotism and talents, might be admitted as honorary mem- 
bers for life ; their numbers never to exceed a ratio of one 
to four. The French ministers who had officiated at Phila- 
delphia, and the French admirals, generals, and colonels, 
who had served in the United States, were to be presented 
with the insignia of the order, and invited to become mem- 

"Washington was chosen unanimously to officiate .as presi- 
dent of it, until the first general meeting, to be held in May, 

On the 8th of June, "Washington addressed a letter to the 
governors of the several States on the subject of the dissolu- 
tion of the army. The opening of it breathes that aspiration 
after the serene quiet of private life, which had been his 
dream of happiness throughout the storms and trials of his 
anxious career, but the full fruition of which he was never 
to realize. 

"The great object," said he, "for which I had the honor 
to hold an appointment in the service of my country being 
accomplished, I am now preparing to return to that domestic 
retirement which, it is well known, I left with the greatest 
reluctance; a retirement for which I have never ceased to 
sigh, through a long and painful absence, and in which 
(remote from the noise and trouble of the world) I medi- 
tate to pass the remainder of life in a state of undisturbed 

His letter then described the enviable condition of the 
citizens of America. "Sole lords and proprietors of a vast 
tract of continent, comprehending all the various soils and 
climates of the world, and abounding with all the necessaries 
and conveniences of life; and acknowledged possessors of 
'absolute freedom and independency.' This is the time," 

38 U/ort^s of U/asl?fr)$toi) Irvir>$ 

said he, "of their political probation; this is the moment 
when the eyes of the whole world are turned upon them; 
this is the moment to establish or ruin their national char- 
acter forever. This is the favorable moment to give such 
a tone to the federal government as will enable it to answer 
the ends of its institution; or this may be the moment for 
relaxing the powers of the Union, annihilating the cement 
of the confederation, and exposing us to become the sport 
of European politics, which may play one State against 
another, to prevent their growing importance, and to serve 
their own interested purposes. 

"With this conviction of the importance of the present 
crisis, silence in me would be a crime. I will therefore speak 
the language of freedom and sincerity without disguise. 

"I am aware, however," continues he modestly, "that 
those who differ from me in political sentiment may perhaps 
remark that I am stepping out of the proper line of my duty, 
and may possibly ascribe to arrogance or ostentation what 
I know is the result of the purest intention. But the recti- 
tude of my own heart, which disdains such unworthy mo- 
tives ; the part I have hitherto acted in life ; the determina- 
tion I have formed of not taking any share in public business 
hereafter; the ardent desire I feel, and shall continue to 
manifest, of quietly enjoying, in private life, after all the 
toils of war, the benefits of a wise and liberal government ; 
will, I flatter myself, sooner or later convince my country- 
men that I could have no sinister views in delivering with 
so little reserve the opinions contained in this address." 

He then proceeded ably and eloquently to discuss what 
he considered the four things essential to the well-being, and 
even the existence, of the United States as an independent 

Cife of U/a8J?ir)<$toi) 39 

First. An indissoluble union of the States under one 
federal head, and a perfect acquiescence of the several States 
in the full exercise of the prerogative vested in such a head 
by the constitution. 

Second. A sacred regard to public justice in discharging 
debts and fulfilling contracts made by Congress for the pur- 
pose of carrying on the war. 

Third. The adoption of a proper peace establishment; 
in which care should be taken to place the militia throughout 
the Union on a regular, uniform, and efficient footing. "The 
militia of this country," said he, "must be considered as 
the palladium of our security, and the first effectual resort 
in cases of hostility. It is essential, therefore, that the same 
system should pervade the whole; that the formation and 
discipline of the militia of the continent should be absolutely 
uniform, and that the same species of arms, accouterments, 
and military apparatus should be introduced in every part 
of the United States." 

And Fourth. A disposition among the people of the 
United States to forget local prejudices and policies; to make 
mutual concessions, and to sacrifice individual advantages 
to the interests of the community. 

These four things Washington pronounced the pillars on 
which the glorious character must be supported. "Liberty 
is the basis, and whoever would dare to sap the foundation, 
or overturn the structure, under whatever specious pretext 
he may attempt it, will merit the bitterest execration and 
the severest punishment which can be inflicted by his injured 

We forbear to go into the ample and admirable reasoning 
with which he expatiates on these heads, and, above all, 
enforces the sacred inviolability of the Union; they have 

40 U/or^s of U/asfyio^too Irvio$ 

become familiar with every American mind, and ought to 
govern every American heart. Nor will we dwell upon his 
touching appeal on the subject of the half pay and commuta- 
tion promised to the army, and which began to be considered 
in the odious light of a pension. "That provision," said he, 
"should be viewed as it really was — a reasonable compensa- 
tion offered by Congress, at a time when they had nothing 
else to give to the officers of the army for services then to be 
performed. It was the only means to prevent a total dere- 
liction of the service. It was a part of their hire. I may 
be allowed to say it was the price of their blood and of your 
independency; it is therefore more than a common debt, it 
is a debt of honor.' ' 

Although we have touched upon but a part of this ad- 
mirable letter, we cannot omit its affecting close, addressed 
as it was to each individual governor. 

"I have thus freely declared what I wished to make 
known, before I surrendered up my public trust, to those 
who committed it to me. The task is now accomplished. 
I now bid adieu to your Excellency, as the chief magistrate 
of your State, at the same time I bid a last farewell to the 
cares of office and all the employments of public life. 

"It remains, then, to be my final and only request, that 
your Excellency will communicate these sentiments to your 
Legislature at their next meeting, and that they may be con- 
sidered the legacy of one who has ardently wished, on all 
occasions, to be useful to his country, and who, even in the 
shade of retirement, will not fail to implore the Divine 
benediction on it. 

"I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have 
you, and the State over which you preside, in His holy pro- 
tection; that He would incline the hearts of the citizens to 

Cife of U/asl?ir)$too 41 

cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to govern- 
ment, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one 
another, for their fellow -citizens of the United States at 
large, and particularly for brethren who have served in the 
field; and finally, that He would most graciously be pleased 
to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean 
ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of 
mind, which are the characteristics of the Divine Author 
of our blessed religion, and without whose example in those 
things we can never hope to be a happy nation. " 

"While the patriot army, encamped under the eye of Wash- 
ington, bore their hardships and privations without flinching, 
or returned quietly to their homes with, as yet, no actual 
reward but the weapons with which they had vindicated 
their country's cause; about eighty newly recruited soldiers 
of the Pennsylvania line, stationed at Lancaster, suddenly 
mutinied and set off in a body for Philadelphia, to demand 
redress of fancied grievances from the Legislature of the 
State, Arriving at that city, they were joined by about two 
hundred comrades from the barracks, and proceeded on the 
2d of June with beat of drum and fixed bayonets to the 
State House, where Congress and the supreme executive 
council of Pennsylvania were in session. 

Placing sentinels at every door to prevent egress, they 
sent in a written message to the president and council, threat- 
ening military violence if their demands were not complied 
with in the course of twenty minutes. 

Though these menaces were directed against the State 
government, Cougress felt itself outraged by being thus 
surrounded and blockaded for several hours by an armed 
soldiery. Fearing lest the State of Pennsylvania might not 
be able to furnish adequate protection, it adjourned to meet 

42 U/orKs of U/asfcir^tOQ IrulQ? 

within a few days at Princeton; sending information, in 
the meantime, to Washington of this mutinous outbreak. 

The latter immediately detached General Howe with 
fifteen hundred men to quell the mutiny and punish the 
offenders; at the same time, in a letter to the President of 
Congress, he expressed his indignation and distress at seeing 
a handful of men, " contemptible in numbers and equally 
so in point of service, and not worthy to be called soldiers," 
insulting the sovereign authority of the Union and that of 
their own State. He vindicated the army at large, how- 
ever, from the stain the behavior of these men might cast 
upon it. These were mere recruits, soldiers of a day, who 
had not borne the heat and burden of the war, and had in 
reality few hardships to complain of. He contrasted their 
conduct with that of the soldiers recently furloughed— vet- 
erans, who had patiently endured hunger, nakedness, and 
cold; who had suffered and bled without a murmur, and 
who had retired, in perfect good order, to their homes, with- 
out a settlement of their accounts or a farthing of money 
in their pockets. While he gave vent to this indignation 
and scorn, roused by the "arrogance and folly and wicked- 
ness of the mutineers," he declared that he could not suffi- 
ciently admire the fidelity, bravery, and patriotism of the 
rest of the army. 

Fortunately, before the troops under General Howe 
reached Philadelphia, the mutiny had been suppressed with- 
out bloodshed. Several of the mutineers were tried by a 
court-martial, two were condemned to death, but ultimately 
pardoned, and four received corporal punishment. 

Washington now found his situation at headquarters irk- 
some ; there was little to do, and he was liable to be inces* 
santly teased with applications and demands which he had 

Cife of \JJazt)\r)$toT) 43 

neither the means nor power to satisfy. He resolved, there- 
fore, to while away part of the time that must intervene 
before the arrival of the definitive treaty, by making a tour 
to the northern and western parts of the State, and visiting 
the places which had been the theater of important military 
transactions. He had another object in view; he desired to 
facilitate as far as in his power the operations which would 
be necessary for occupying, as soon as evacuated by the 
British troops, the posts ceded by the treaty of peace. 

Governor Clinton accompanied him on the expedition. 
They set out by water from Newburg, ascended the Hudson 
to Albany, visited Saratoga and the scene of Burgoyne's 
surrender, embarked on Lake George, where light boats had 
been provided for them, traversed that beautiful lake so full 
of historic interest, proceeded to Ticonderoga and Crown 
Point ; and after reconnoitering those eventful posts, returned 
to Schenectady, whence they proceeded up the valley of the 
Mohawk River, "to have a view," writes "Washington, "of 
that tract of country which is so much celebrated for the 
fertility of its soil and the beauty of its situation.' ' Having 
reached Fort Schuyler, formerly Fort Stanwix, they crossed 
over to Wood Creek, which empties into Oneida Lake, and 
affords the water communication with Ontario. They then 
traversed the country to the head of the eastern branch of 
the Susquehanna, and viewed Lake Otsego and the portage 
between that lake and the Mohawk River. 

Washington returned to headquarters at Newburg on 
the 5th of August, after a tour of at least seven hundred 
and fifty miles, performed in nineteen days, and for the 
most part on horseback. In a letter to the Chevalier de 
Chastellux, written two or three months afterward, and 
giving a sketch of his tour through what was, as yet, an 

44 U/or^s of U/asl?ir)<$too Iruip<$ 

unstudied wilderness, he writes: " Prompted by these actual 
observations, I could not help taking a more extensive view 
of the vast inland navigation of these United States from 
maps and the information of others; and could not but be 
struck with the immense extent and importance of it, and 
with the goodness of that Providence which has dealt its 
favors to us with so profuse a hand ; would to God we may 
have wisdom enough to improve them. I shall not rest 
contented till I have explored the western country and trav- 
ersed those lines, or a great part of them, which have given 
bounds to a new empire." The vast advantages of internal 
communication between the Hudson and the great lakes, 
which dawned upon Washington's mind in the course of 
this tour, have since been realized in that grand artery 
of national wealth, the Erie Canal. 


The Army to be discharged — Parting Address of Washington — 
Evacuation of New York — Parting Scene of Washington with 
his Officers at New York — Washington resigns his Commission 
to Congress — Retires to Mount Vernon 

By a proclamation of Congress, dated 18th of October. 
all officers and soldiers absent on furlough were discharged 
from further service ; and all others who had engaged to 
serve during the war were to be discharged from and after 
the 3d of November. A small force only, composed of those 
who had enlisted for a definite time, were to be retained in 
service until the peace establishment should be organized. 

In general orders of November 2d, "Washington, after 
adverting to this proclamation, adds: "It only remains for 

Cife of U/ast?iQ<$tor) 45 

the commander-in-chief to address himself once more, and 
that for the last time, to the armies of the United States, 
however widely dispersed the individuals who compose them 
may be, and to bid them an affectionate and a long fare- 

He then goes on to make them one of those paternal 
addresses which so eminently characterize his relationship 
with his army, so different from that of any other com- 
mander. He takes a brief view of the glorious struggle 
from which they had just emerged ; the unpromising circum- 
stances under which they had undertaken it, and the signal 
interposition of Providence in behalf of their feeble condi- 
tion ; the unparalleled perseverance of the American armies 
for eight long years, through almost every possible suffering 
and discouragement; a perseverance which he justly pro- 
nounces to be little short of a standing miracle. 

Adverting then to the enlarged prospects of happiness 
opened by the confirmation of national independence and 
sovereignty, and the ample and profitable employments held 
out in a Republic so happily circumstanced, he exhorts them 
to maintain the strongest attachment to the union, and to 
carry with them into civil society the most conciliatory dis- 
positions; proving themselves not less virtuous and useful 
as citizens than they had been victorious as soldiers ; feeling 
assured that the private virtues of economy, prudence and 
industry would not be less amiable in civil life, than the 
more splendid qualities of valor, perseverance and enterprise 
were in the field. 

After a warm expression of thanks to the officers and 
men for the assistance he had received from every class, 
and in every instance, he adds: 

"To the various branches of the army the General takeb 

46 U/ork[8 of U/a8^ir>^toi> Irvir>Q 

this last and solemn opportunity of professing his invariable 
attachment and friendship. He wishes more than bare pro- 
fessions were in his power; that he was really able to be 
useful to them all in future life. He natters himself, how- 
ever, they will do him the justice to believe, that whatever 
could with propriety be attempted by him has been done. 

"And being now to conclude these his last public orders, 
to take his ultimate leave in a short time of the military char- 
acter, and to bid a final adieu to the armies he has so long 
had the honor to command, he can only offer in their behalf 
his recommendations to their grateful country, and his 
prayers to the God of armies. May ample justice be done 
them here, and may the choicest of Heaven's favors, both 
here and hereafter, attend those who, under the Divine 
auspices, have secured innumerable blessings for others. 
"With these wishes, and this benediction, the commander- 
in-chief is about to retire from service. The curtain of 
separation will soon be drawn, and the military scene to 
him will be closed forever." 

There was a straightforward simplicity in Washington's 
addresses to his army ; they were so void of tumid phrases 
or rhetorical embellishments; the counsels given in them 
were so sound and practicable; the feelings expressed in 
them so kind and benevolent; and so perfectly in accordance 
with his character and conduct, that they always had an 
irresistible effect on the rudest and roughest hearts. 

A person who was present at the breaking up of the 
army, and whom we have had frequent occasion to cite, 
observes, on the conduct of the troops, "The advice of their 
beloved commander-in-chief, and the resolves of Congress 
to pay and compensate them in such manner as the ability 
of the United States would permit, operated to keep them 

Cife of U/asl?ii}$toi} 47 

quiet and prevent tumult, but no description would be ade- 
quate to the painful circumstances of the parting scene. 
Both officers and soldiers, long unaccustomed to the affairs 
of private life, turned loose on the world to starve, and to 
become the prey to vulture speculators. Never can that 
melancholy day be forgotten when friends, companions for 
seven long years in joy and in sorrow, were torn asunder 
without the hope of ever meeting again, and with prospects 
of a miserable subsistence in future." * 

Notwithstanding every exertion had been made for the 
evacuation of New York, such was the number of persons 
and the quantity of effects of all kinds to be conveyed away, 
that the month of November was far advanced before it 
could be completed. Sir Guy Carleton had given notice 
to "Washington of the time he supposed the different posts 
would be vacated, that the Americans might be prepared 
to take possession of them. In consequence of this notice, 
General George Clinton, at that time Governor of New 
York, had summoned the members of the State council to 
convene at Eastchester on the 21st of November, for the 
purpose of establishing civil government in the districts 
hitherto occupied by the British ; and a detachment of troops 
was marched from West Point to be ready to take possession 
cf the posts as they were vacated. 

On the 21st the British troops were drawn in from the 
oft-disputed post of King's Bridge and from M'Gowan's 
Pass, also from the various posts on the eastern part of Long 
Island. Paulus Hook was relinquished on the following 
day, and the afternoon of the 25th of November was ap- 
pointed by Sir Guy for the evacuation of the city and the 
opposite village of Brooklyn. 

* Thacher, p. 421. 

48 U/or^s of U/asl?ii}$toi) Irvipo; 

Washington, in the meantime, had taken his station at 
Harlem, accompanied by Governor Clinton, who, in virtue 
of his office, was to take charge of the city. They found 
there General "^nox with the detachment from West Point. 
Sir Guy Car'ieton had intimated a wish that Washington 
would be at hand to take immediate possession of the city, 
and prevent all outrage, as he had been informed of a plot 
to plunder the place whenever the king's troops should be 
withdrawn. He had engaged, also, that the guards of the 
redoubts on the East River, covering the upper part of 
the town, should be the first to be withdrawn, and that 
an officer should be sent to give Washington's advanced 
guard information of their retiring. 

Although Washington doubted the existence of any such 
plot as that which had been reported to the British com- 
mander, yet he took precautions accordingly. On the morn- 
ing of the 25th the American troops, composed of dragoons, 
tight-infantry, and artillery, moved from Harlem to the 
Bowery at the upper part of the city. There they remained 
until the troops in that quarter were withdrawn, when they 
marched into the city and took possession, the British em- 
barking from the lower parts. 

A formal entry then took place of the military and civil 
authorities. General Washington and Governor Clinton, 
with their suites, on horseback, led the procession, escorted 
by a troop of Westchester cavalry. Then came the lieu- 
tenant-governor and members of the council, General Knox 
and the officers of the army, the speaker of the Assembly, 
and a large number of citizens on horseback and on foot. 

An American lady, who was at that time very young 
and had resided during the latter part of the war in the 
city, has given us an account of the striking contrast be- 

Cife of U/a8f?ir><$toi> 49 

tween the American and British troops. "We had been 
accustomed for a long time," said she, "to military display 
in all the finish and finery of garrison life ; the troops just 
leaving us were as if equipped for show, and with their 
scarlet uniforms and burnished arms made 1 'a brilliant dis- 
play; the troops that marched in, on the contrary, were 
ill-clad and weather-beaten, and made a forlorn appearance ; 
but then they were our troops, and as I looked at them, and 
thought upon all they had done and suffered for us, my 
heart and eyes were full, and I admired and gloried in 
them the more, because they were weather-beaten and 

The city was now a scene of public festivity and rejoicing. 
The governor gave banquets to the French embassador, the 
commander-in-chief, the military and civil officers, and a 
large number of the most eminent citizens, and at night the 
public were entertained by splendid fireworks. 

In the course of a few days Washington prepared to 

depart for Annapolis, where Congress was assembling, with 

the intention of asking leave to resign his command. A 

barge was in waiting about noon on the 4th of December at 

Whitehall ferry to convey him across the Hudson to Paulus 

Hook. The principal officers of the army assembled at 

Fraunces* Tavern in the neighborhood of the ferry, to take 

a final leave of him. On entering the room, and finding 

himself surrounded by his old companions in arms, who had 

shared with him so many scenes of hardship, difficulty, and 

danger, his agitated feelings overcame his usual self-corn* 

mand. Filling a glass of wine, and turning upon them his 

benignant but saddened countenance, "With a heart full of 

love and gratitude," said he, "I now take leave of you, most 

devoutly wishing that your latter days may be as prosperous 

Vol. XV.-***3 

50 U/orl^s of U/a8^ii)^top IruiQ^ 

and happy as your former ones have been glorious and 

Having drunk this farewell benediction, he added with 
emotion, "I cannot come to each of you to take my leave, 
but shall be obliged if each of you will come and take me 
by the hand." 

General Knox, who was nearest, was the first to advance. 
"Washington, affected even to tears, grasped his hand and 
gave him a brother's embrace. In the same affectionate 
manner he took leave severally of the rest. Not a word 
was spoken. The deep feeling and manly tenderness of 
these veterans in the parting moment could find no utter- 
ance in words. Silent and solemn they followed their loved 
commander as he left the room, passed through a corps of 
light-infantry, and proceeded on foot to Whitehall ferry. 
Having entered the barge, he turned to them, took off his 
hat and waved a silent adieu. 

They replied in the same manner, and having watched 
the barge until the intervening point of the Battery shut it 
from sight, returned, still solemn and silent, to the place 
where they had assembled.* 

On his way to Annapolis, Washington stopped for a few 
days at Philadelphia, where, with his usual exactness in 
matters of business, he adjusted with the Comptroller of the 
Treasury his accounts from the commencement of the war 
down to the 13th of the actual month of December. These 
were all in his own handwriting, and kept in the cleanest 
and most accurate manner, each entry being accompanied 
by a statement of the occasion and object of the charge. 

The gross amount was about fourteen thousand five hun- 

MarshalPs Life of Washington. 

Cife of \JJastyr)$toT) 51 

dred pounds sterling; in which were included moneys ex- 
pended for secret intelligence and service, and in various in- 
cidental charges. All this, it must be noted, was an account 
of money actually expended in the progress of the war ; not 
for arrearage of pay ; for it will be recollected "Washington 
accepted no pay. Indeed, on the final adjustment of his 
accounts, he found himself a considerable loser, having fre- 
quently, in the hurry of business, neglected to credit him- 
self with sums drawn from his private purse in moments 
of exigency. 

The schedule of his public account furnishes not the least 
among the many noble and impressive lessons taught by his 
character and example. It stands a touchstone of honesty 
in office, and a lasting rebuke on that lavish expenditure of 
the public money, too often heedlessly, if not willfully, in- 
dulged by military commanders. 

In passing through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and 
Maryland, the scenes of his anxious and precarious cam- 
paigns, Washington was everywhere hailed with enthusi- 
asm by the people, and greeted with addresses by Legisla- 
tive assemblies, and learned and religious institutions. He 
accepted them all with that modesty inherent in his nature ; 
little thinking that this present popularity was but the early 
outbreaking of a fame that was to go on widening and deep- 
ening from generation to generation, and extending over the 
whole civilized world. 

Being arrived at Annapolis, he addressed a letter to the 
President of Congress, on the 20th of December, requesting 
to know in what manner it would be most proper to offer his 
resignation ; whether in writing or at an audience. The lat- 
ter mode was adopted, and the Hall of Congress appointed 
for the ceremonial. 

02 U/orl^s of U/asbio^top Iruipo; 

A letter from Washington to the Baron Steuben, written 
on the 23d, concludes as follows; " This is the last letter I 
shall write while I continue in the service of my country. 
The hour of my resignation is fixed at twelve to-day, after 
which I shall become a private citizen on the banks of the 

At twelve o'clock the gallery, and a great part of the 
floor of the Hall of Congress, were filled with ladies, with 
public functionaries of the State, and with general officers. 
The members of Congress were seated and covered, as repre- 
sentatives of the sovereignty of the Union. The gentlemen 
present as spectators were standing and uncovered. 

Washington entered, conducted by the secretary of Con- 
gress, and took his seat in a chair appointed for him. After 
a brief pause the president (General Mifflin) informed him 
that "the United States in Congress assembled were pre- 
pared to receive his communication." 

Washington then rose, and, in a dignified and impressive 
manner, delivered a short address. 

"The great events," said he, "on which my resignation 
depended, having at length taken place, I now have the 
honor of offering my sincere congratulations to Congress, 
and of presenting myself before them to surrender into their 
hands the trust committed to me, and to claim the indul- 
gence of retiring from the service of my country." 

After expressing his obligations to the army in general, 
and acknowledging the peculiar services and distinguished 
merits of the confidential officers who had been attached to 
his person, and composed his family during the war, and 
whom he especially recommended to the favor of Congress, 
he continued : 

"I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last sol- 

Cife of U/as^ip<$toi> 53 

emn act of my official life by commending the interests of 
our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God; and 
those who have the superintendence of them to His holy 

' * Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire 
from the great theater of action ; and, bidding an affection- 
ate farewell to this august body, under whose orders I have 
long acted, I here offer my commission and take my leave 
of all the employments of public life." 

' 'Few tragedies ever drew so many tears from so many 
beautiful eyes," says a writer who was present, "as the 
moving manner in which his Excellency took his final leave 
of Congress." * 

Having delivered his commission into the hands of the 
president, the latter, in reply to his address, bore testimony to 
the patriotism with which he had answered to the call of bis 
country, and defended its invaded rights before it had formed 
alliances, and while it was without funds or a government to 
support him ; to the wisdom and fortitude with which he had 
conducted the great military contest, invariably regarding 
the rights of the civil power through all disasters and 
changes. "You may retire," added he, "from the theater 
of action with the blessings of your fellow-citizens; but the 
glory of your virtues will not terminate with your military 
command; it will continue to animate remotest ages." 

The very next morning Washington left Annapolis, and 
hastened to his beloved Mount Vernon, where he arrived the 
same day, on Christmas-eve, in a frame of mind suited to 
enjoy the sacred and genial festival. 

"The scene is at last closed," said he in a letter to Gov- 

* Editor of the Maryland Gazette. 

54 U/or^s of U/asl?iQ$t:oi) Irvir>$ 

ernor Clinton; "I feel myself eased of a load of public care. 
I hope to spend the remainder of my days ih cultivating the 
affections of good men and in the practice of the domestic 


Washington at Mount Vernon — A Soldier's Repose — Plans of Do- 
mestic Life — Kind Offer of the Council of Pennsylvania — His- 
torical Applications — News of Jacob Van Braam — Opening of 
Spring — Agricultural Life resumed — Recollections of the Fair- 
faxes — Meeting of the Order of Cincinnati — Tour of Washing- 
ton and Dr. Craik to the West — Ideas of Internal Improvement 
— Parting with Lafayette 

For some time after his return to Mount Vernon, Wash- 
ington was in a manner locked up by the ice and snow of an 
uncommonly rigorous winter, so that social intercourse was 
interrupted, and he could not even pay a visit of duty and 
affection to his aged mother at Fredericksburg. But it was 
enough for him at present that he was at length at home at 
Mount Vernon. Yet the habitudes of the camp still haunted 
him ; he could hardly realize that he was free from military 
duties ; on waking in the morning he almost expected to hear 
the drum going its stirring rounds and beating the reveille. 

"Strange as it may seem," writes he to General Knox, 
"it is nevertheless true that it was not until very lately I 
could get the better of my usual custom of ruminating, as 
soon as I waked in the morning, on the business of the ensu- 
ing day; and of my surprise at finding, after revolving many 
things in my mind, that I was no longer a public man, nor 
had anything to do with public transactions. I feel now, 
however, as I conceive a weary traveler must do, who, after 
treading many a weary step, with a heavy burden on his 

Cife of U/asl?ii}$tor) 55 

shoulders, is eased of the latter, having reached the haven 
to which all the former were directed, and from his house- 
top is looking back, and tracing, with an eager eye, the 
meanders by which he escaped the quicksands and mires 
which lay in his way; and into which none but the all- 
powerful Guide and Dispenser of human events could have 
prevented his falling:" 

And in a letter to Lafayette he writes: "Free from the 
bustle of a camp and the busy scenes of public life, I am 
solacing myself with those tranquil enjoyments which the 
soldier, who is ever in pursuit of fame; the statesman, whose 
watchful days and sleepless nights are spent in devising 
schemes to promote the welfare of his own, perhaps the ruin 
of other countries — as if this globe was insufficient for us all ; 
and the courtier, who is always watching the countenance 
of his prince in hopes of catching a gracious smile, can have 
very little conception. 1 have not only retired from all pub- 
lic employments, but I am retiring within myself, and shall 
be able to view the solitary walk and tread the paths of pri- 
vate life with heartfelt satisfaction. Envious of none, I am 
determined to be pleased with all ; and this, my dear friend, 
being the order of my march, I will move gently down the 
stream of life until I sleep with my fathers." 

And subsequently in a letter to the Marchioness de La- 
fayette, inviting her to America to see the country, "young, 
rude, and uncultivated as it is," for the liberties of which 
her husband had fought, bled, and acquired much glory, and 
where everybody admired and loved him, he adds: "1 am 
now enjoying domestic ease under the shadow of my own 
vine and my own fig-tree, in a small villa, with the imple- 
ments of husbandry and lambkins about me. . . . Come, 
then, let me entreat you, and call my cottage your own ; for 

56 ll/or^s of U/a8l?ir}<$tor) Iruio<$ 

your doors do not open to you with more readiness than mine 
would. You will see the plain manner in which we live, 
and meet with rustic civility; and you shall taste the sim- 
plicity of rural life. It will diversify the scene, and may 
give you a higher relish for the gayeties of the court when 
you return to Versailles." 

During the winter storms he anticipates the time when 
the return of the sun will enable him to welcome his friends 
and companions in arms to partake of his hospitality ; and 
lays down his unpretending plan of receiving the curious 
visitors who are likely to throng in upon him. "My manner 
of living," writes he to a friend, "is plain, and I do not mean 
to be put out of it. A glass of wine and a bit of mutton are 
always ready ; and such as will be content to partake of them 
are always welcome. Those who expect more will be disap- 

Some degree of economy was necessary, for his financial 
concerns had suffered during the war, and the products of 
his estate had fallen off during his long absence. 

In the meantime the supreme council of Pennsylvania, 
properly appreciating the disinterestedness of his conduct, 
and aware that popular love and popular curiosity would 
attract crowds of visitors to Mount Yernon, and subject him 
to extraordinary expenses, had instructed their delegates in 
Congress to call the attention of that body to these circum- 
stances, with a view to produce some national reward for his 
eminent services. Before acting upon these instructions, the 
delegates were instructed to send a copy of them to "Wash- 
ington for his approbation. 

He received the documents while buried in accounts and 
calculations, and when, had he been of a mercenary disposi- 
tion, the offered intervention in his favor would have seemed 

Cife of U/asl?i9<$tor) 57 

most seasonable ; but he at once most gratefully and respect- 
fully declined it, jealously maintaining the satisfaction of 
having served his country at the sacrifice of his private in- 

Applications began to be made to him by persons desir- 
ous of writing the history of the Revolution for access to the 
public papers in his possession. He excused himself from 
submitting to their inspection those relative to the occur- 
rences and transactions of his late command until Congress 
should see fit to open their archives to the historian. 

His old friend, Dr. Craik, made a similar application to 
"Washington in behalf of a person who purposed to write his 
memoirs. He replied that any memoir of his life distinct 
and unconnected with the general history of the war would 
rather hurt his feelings than flatter his pride, while he could 
not furnish the papers and information connected with it 
without subjecting himself to the imputation of vanity, add- 
ing: "I had rather leave it to posterity to think and say 
what they please of me than, by any act of mine, to have 
vanity or ostentation imputed to me." 

It was a curious circumstance that, scarce had "Washing- 
ton retired from the bustle of arms and hung up his sword 
at Mount Vernon, when he received a letter from the worthy 
who had first taught him the use of that sword in these very 
halls. In a word, Jacob Van Braam, his early teacher of 
the sword exercise, his fellow campaigner and unlucky in- 
terpreter in the affair of the Great Meadows, turned up once 
more. His letter gave a glance over the current of his life. 
It would appear that after the close of the French war he 
had been allowed half pay in consideration of his services 
and misadventures; and, in process of time, had married 
and settled on a farm in Wales with his wife and wife's 

58 U/or^s of U/ast?iQ$tor) ]ruir)$ 

mother. He had carried with him to England a strong feel- 
ing in favor of America, and on the breaking out of the 
Revolution had been very free, and, as he seemed to think, 
eloquent and effective, in speaking in all companies and at 
country meetings against the American war. Suddenly, as 
if to stop his mouth, he received orders from Lord Amherst, 
then commander-in-chief, to join his regiment (the 60th), in 
which he w r as appointed eldest captain in the 3d battalion. 
In vain he pleaded his rural occupations ; his farm cultivated 
at so much cost, for which he was in debt, and which must 
go to ruin should he abandon it so abruptly. No excuse was 
admitted — he must embark and sail for East Florida, or lose 
his half pay. He accordingly sailed for St. Augustine in 
the beginning of 1776, with a couple of hundred recruits 
picked up in London, resolving to sell out of the army on 
the first opportunity. By a series of cross-purposes he was 
prevented from doing so until 1779, having in the interim 
made a campaign in Georgia. "He quitted the service," he 
adds, "with as much pleasure as ever a young man entered 

He then returned to England and took up his residence 
in Devonshire, but his invincible propensity to talk against 
the ministry made his residence there uncomfortable. His 
next move, therefore, was to the old fertile province of Or- 
leannois, in France, where he was still living near Male- 
sherbes, apparently at his ease, enjoying the friendship of 
the distinguished personage of that name, and better versed, 
it is to be hoped, in the French language than when he offi- 
ciated as interpreter in the capitulation at the Great Mead- 
ows. The worthy major appeared to contemplate with joy 
and pride the eminence to which his early pupil in the sword 
exercise had attained. 

Cife of UAasl^iQ^tOQ 59 

"Give me leave, sir, before I conclude,' ' writes he, "to 
pour out the sentiments of my soul in congratulations for 
your successes in the American contest; and in wishing you 
a long life to enjoy the blessing of a great people whom you 
have been the chief instrument in freeing from bondage." 

So disappears from the scene one of the earliest person- 
ages of our history. 

As spring advanced, Mount Vernon, as had been antici- 
pated, began to attract numerous visitors. They were re- 
ceived in the frank, unpretending style Washington had de 
termined upon. It was truly edifying to behold how easily 
and contentedly he subsided from the authoritative com- 
mander-in-chief of armies into the quiet country gentleman. 
There was nothing awkward or violent in the transition. 
He seemed to be in his natural element. Mrs. Washington, 
too, who had presided with quiet dignity at headquarters, 
and cheered the wintry gloom of Valley Forge with her 
presence, presided with equal amenity and grace at the sim- 
ple board of Mount Vernon. She had a cheerful good sense 
that always made her an agreeable companion, and was an 
excellent manager. She has been remarked for an inveter- 
ate habit of knitting. It had been acquired, or at least fos- 
tered, in the wintry encampments of the Revolution, where 
she used to set an example to her lady visitors by diligently 
plying her needles, knitting stockings for the poor destitute 

In entering upon the outdoor management of his estate, 
Washington was but doing in person what he had long been 
doing through others. He had never virtually ceased to be 
the agriculturist. Throughout all his campaigns he had 
kept himself informed of the course of rural affairs at Mount 
Vernon. By means of maps, on which every field was laid 

t)U U/orl{8 of U/ag^iQ^toQ Iruio$ 

down and numbered, he was enabled to give directions for 
their several cultivation, and receive accounts of their sev- 
eral crops. No hurry of affairs prevented a correspondence 
with his overseer or agent, and he exacted weekly reports. 
Thus his rural were interwoven with his military cares ; the 
agriculturist was mingled with the soldier; and those strong 
sympathies with the honest cultivators of the soil, and that 
paternal care of their interests to be noted throughout his 
military career, may be ascribed, in a great measure, to the 
sweetening influences of Mount Vernon. Yet as spring re- 
turned, and he resumed his rides about the beautiful neigh- 
borhood of this haven of his hopes, he must have been mourn- 
fully sensible, now and then, of the changes which time and 
events had effected there. 

The Fairfaxes, the kind friends of his boyhood and social 
companions of his riper years, were no longer at hand to 
share his pleasures and lighten his cares. There were no 
more hunting dinners at Bel voir. He paid a sad visit to that 
happy resort of his youth, and contemplated with a mourn- 
ful eye its charred ruins, and the desolation of its once orna- 
mented grounds. George William Fairfax, its former pos- 
sessor, was in England ; his political principles had detained 
him there during the war, and part of his property had been 
sequestered; still, though an exile, he continued in heart a 
friend to America, his hand had been open to relieve the dis- 
tresses of Americans in England, and he had kept up a cor- 
dial correspondence with Washington. 

Old Lord Fairfax, the !N"imrod of Greenway Court, Wash- 
ington's early friend and patron, with whom he had first 
learned to follow the hounds, had lived on in a green old age 
at his sylvan retreat in the beautiful valley of the Shenan- 
doah; popular with his neighbors and unmolested by the 

Cife of U/a8l?ir)<$tor) 61 

whigs, although frank and open in his adherence to Great 
Britain. He had attained his ninety-second year when tid- 
ings of the surrender of Yorktown wounded the national 
pride of the old cavalier to the quick, and snapped the at- 
tenuated thread of his existence.* 

The time was now approaching when the first general 
meeting of the Order of Cincinnati was to be held, and 
Washington saw with deep concern a popular jealousy awak- 
ened concerning it. Judge Burke, of South Carolina, had 
denounced it in a pamphlet as an attempt to elevate the* mili- 
tary above the civil classes, and to institute an order of no- 
bility. The Legislature of Massachusetts sounded an alarm 
that was echoed in Connecticut and prolonged from State to 
State. The whole Union was put on its guard against this 
effort to form a hereditary aristocracy out of the military 
chiefs and powerful families of the several States. 

Washington endeavored to allay this jealousy. In his 
letters to the presidents of the State societies, notifying the 
meeting which was to be held in Philadelphia on the 1st of 

* So, at least, records in homely prose and verse a rever- 
end historiographer of Mount Vernon. ""When old Lord 
Fairfax heard that Washington had captured Lord Corn- 
wallis and all his army, he called to his black waiter, 'Come, 
Joe! carry me to bed, for it is high time for me to die!' " 

Then up rose Joe, all at the word. 

And took his master's arm, 
And thus to bed he softly led 

The lord of Green way farm. 

There oft he called on Britain's name, 

And oft he wept full sore, 
Then sighed — Thy will, O Lord, be done — 

And word spake never more. 

— See Weems' Life of "Washington. 

62 U/orKs of U/asl?ii)$toi) Irvii)$ 

May, he expressed his earnest solicitude that it should be 
respectable for numbers and abilities, and wise and deliber- 
ate in its proceedings, so as to convince the public that the 
objects of the institution were patriotic and trustworthy. 

The society met at the appointed time and place. Wash- 
ington presided, and by his sagacious counsels effected modi- 
fications of its constitution. The hereditary principle and 
the power of electing honorary members were abolished, and 
it was reduced to the harmless but highly respectable footing 
on which it still exists. 

In notifying the French military and naval officers in- 
cluded in the society of the changes which had taken place 
in its constitution, he expressed his ardent hopes that it 
would render permanent those friendships and connections 
which had happily taken root between the officers of the two 
nations. All clamors against the order now ceased. It be- 
came a rallying place for old comrades in arms, and Wash- 
ington continued to preside over it until his death. 

In a letter to the Chevalier de Chastellux, for whom he 
felt an especial regard, after inviting him to the meeting, he 
adds : "I will only repeat to you the assurances of my friend- 
ship, and of the pleasure I should feel in seeing you in the 
shade of those trees which my hands have planted; and 
which, by their rapid growth, at once indicate a knowledge 
of my declining years, and their disposition to spread their 
mantles over me, before I go hence to return no more." 

On the 17th of August he was gladdened by having the 
Marquis de Lafayette under his roof, who had recently ar- 
rived from France. The marquis passed a fortnight with 
him, a loved and cherished guest, at the end of which he de- 
parted for a time, to be present at the ceremony of a treaty 
with the Indians. 

Cife of \lfast)\r)$tor) 63 

Washington now prepared for a tour to the west of the 
Appalachian Mountains, to visit his lands on the Ohio and 
Kanawha Rivers. Dr. Craik, the companion of his various 
campaigns, and who had accompanied him in 1770 on a simi- 
lar tour, was to be his fellow-traveler. The way they were 
to travel may be gathered from Washington's directions to 
the doctor: " You will have occasion to take nothing from 
home but a servant to look after your horses, and such bed- 
ding as you may think proper to make use of. I will carry 
a marquee, some camp utensils, and a few stores. A boat 
or some other kind of vessel will be provided for the voyage 
down the river, either at my place on the Youghiogheny or 
Fort Pitt, measures for this purpose having already been 
taken. A few medicines, and hooks and lines, you may 
probably want." 

This soldier-like tour, made in hardy military style, with 
tent, pack-horses, and frugal supplies, took him once more 
among the scenes of his youthful expeditions when a land 
surveyor in the employ of Lord Fairfax ; a leader of Virginia 
militia, or an aid-de-camp of the unfortunate Braddock. A 
veteran now in years, and a general renowned in arms, he 
soberly permitted his steed to pick his way across the moun- 
tains by the old military route still called Braddock' s Road, 
over which he had spurred in the days of youthful ardor. 
His original intention had been to survey and inspect his 
lands on the Monongahela River ; then to descend the Ohio to 
the Great Kanawha, where also he had large tracts of wild 
land. On arriving on the Monongahela, however, he heard 
such accounts of discontent and irritation among the Indian 
tribes that he did not consider it prudent to venture among 
them. Some of his land on the Monongahela was settled; 
the rest was in the wilderness and of little value in the pres- 

64 U/orl^s of U/asl?iD$toi? Irving 

ent unquiet state of the country. He abridged his tour, 
therefore ; proceeded no further west than the Monongahela ; 
ascended that river, and then struck southward through the 
wild, unsettled regions of the Alleghanies, until he came out 
into the Shenandoah Valley, near Staunton. He returned 
to Mount Vernon on the 4th of October; having, since the 
first of September, traveled on horseback six hundred and 
eighty miles, for a great part of the time in wild, mountain- 
ous country, where he was obliged to encamp at night. 
This, like his tour to the northern forts with Governor Clin- 
ton, gave proof of his unfailing vigor and activity. 

During all this tour he had carefully observed the course 
and character of the streams flowing from the west into the 
Ohio, and the distance of their navigable parts from the head 
navigation of the rivers east of the mountains, with the near- 
est and best portage between them. For many years he had 
been convinced of the practicability of an easy and short com- 
munication between the Potomac and James Rivers, and the 
waters of the Ohio, and thence on to the great chain of lakes ; 
and of the vast advantages that would result therefrom to 
the States of Virginia and Maryland. He had even at- 
tempted to set a company on foot to undertake at their own 
expense the opening of such a communication, but the break- 
ing out of the Revolution had put a stop to the enterprise. 
One object of his recent tour was to make observations and 
collect information on the subject; and all that he had seen 
and heard quickened his solicitude to carry the scheme into 

Political as well as commercial interests, he conceived, 
were involved in the enterprise. He had noticed that the 
flanks and rear of the United States were possessed by for- 
eign and formidable powers, who might lure the western 

Cife of U/asl?iQ<$tor} 65 

people into a trade and alliance with them. The Western 
States, he observed, stood as it were upon a pivot, so that 
the touch of a feather might turn them any way. They had 
looked down the Mississippi, and been tempted in that direc- 
tion by the facilities of sending everything down the stream; 
whereas they had no means of coming to us but by long land 
transportations and rugged roads. The jealous and unto- 
ward disposition of the Spaniards, it was true, almost barred 
the use of the Mississippi; but they might change their policy 
and invite trade in that direction. The retention by the Brit- 
ish government, also, of the posts of Detroit, Niagara and 
Oswego, though contrary to the spirit of the treaty, shut up 
the channel of trade in that quarter. These posts, however, 
would eventually be given up; and then, he was persuaded, 
the people of New York would lose no time in removing 
every obstacle in the way of a water communication; and 
"I shall be mistaken," said he, "if they do not build vessels 
for the navigation of the lakes which will supersede the ne- 
cessity of coasting on either side." 

It behooved Virginia, therefore, to lose no time in avail- 
ing herself of the present favorable conjuncture to secure a 
share of western trade by connecting the Potomac and James 
Rivers with the waters beyond the mountains. The indus- 
try of the western settlers had hitherto been checked by the 
want of outlets to their products, owing to the before-men- 
tioned obstacles. "But smooth the road," said he, "and 
make easy the way for them, and then see what an influx 
of articles will pour upon us ; how amazingly our exports 
will be increased by them, and how amply all shall be com- 
pensated for any trouble and expense we may encounter to 
effect it." 

Such were some of the ideas ably and amply set forth by 

66 U/orl^s of U/asl?ir>^top Irvlp$ 

him in a letter to Benjamin Harrison, Governor of Virginia, 
who, struck with his plan for opening the navigation of the 
western waters, laid the letter before the State Legislature. 
The favor with which it was received induced Washington 
to repair to Richmond and give his personal support to the 
measure. He arrived there on the fifteenth of November. 

On the following morning a committee of five members 
of the House of Assembly, headed by Patrick Henry, waited 
on him in behalf of that body, to testify their reverence for 
his character and affection for his person, and their sense of 
the proofs given by him, since his return to private life, that 
no change of situation could turn his thoughts from the wel- 
fare of his country. The suggestions of "Washington in his 
letters to the governor and his representations, during this 
visit to Richmond, gave the first impulse to the great sys- 
tem of internal improvements since pursued throughout the 
United States. 

At Richmond he was joined by the Marquis de Lafayette; 
who since their separation had accompanied the commis- 
sioners to Fort Schuyler and been present at the formation 
of a treaty with the Indians; after which he had made a 
tour of the Eastern States, " crowned everywhere," writes 
Washington, "with wreaths of love and respect." * 

They returned together to Mount Vernon, where La- 
fayette again passed several days, a cherished inmate of 
the domestic circle. 

When his visit was ended, Washington, to defer the 
parting scene, accompanied him to Annapolis. On return- 
ing to Mount Vernon he wrote a farewell letter to the mar- 
quis, bordering more upon the sentimental than almost any 
other in his multifarious correspondence. 
* Letter of Washington to the Marchioness de Lafayette. 

Cife of U/asl?in<$ton G7 

"In the moment of our separation, upon the road as I 
have traveled, and every hour since, I have felt all that love, 
respect and attachment for you with which length of years, 
close connection and your merits have inspired me. I often 
asked myself, as our carriages separated, whether that was 
the last sight I ever should have of you? And though I 
wished to answer no, my fears answered yes. I called to 
mind the days of my youth, and found they had long since 
fled to return no more ; that I was now descending the hill 
I have been fifty-two years climbing, and that, though I 
was blessed with a good constitution, I was of a short-lived 
family, and might soon expect to be entombed in the man- 
sion of my fathers. These thoughts darkened the shades 
and gave a gloom to the picture, and, consequently, to my 
prospect of ever seeing you again." 


Scheme of Inland Navigation — Shares of Stock offered to Washing- 
ton—Declined — Rural Improvements — The Tax of Letter-writ- 
ing — The Tax of Sitting for Likenesses — Ornamental Gardening 
— Management of the Estate — Domestic Life — Visit of Mr. Wat- 
son — Reverential Awe inspired by Washington — Irksome to 
him — Instances of his Festive Gayety — Of his Laughing — Pas- 
sion for Hunting revived — Death of Gen. Greene — His Char- 
acter — Washington's Regrets and Encomiums — Letters to the 
French Noblemen 

Washington's zeal for the public good had now found 
a new channel; or, rather, his late tours into the interior 
of the Union had quickened ideas long existing in his mind 
on the subject of internal navigation. In a letter to Richard 

68 U/orl^e of U/asl?ir^^toi> Irvir)©; 

Henry Lee, recently chosen President of Congress, he urged 
it upon his attention; suggesting that the western waters 
should be explored, their navigable capabilities ascertained, 
and that a complete map should be made of the country; 
that in all grants of land by the United States there should 
be a reserve made for special sale of all mines, mineral and 
salt springs ; that a medium price should be adopted for the 
western lands sufficient to prevent monopoly, but not to dis- 
courage useful settlers. He had a salutary horror of "land 
jobbers" and " roaming speculators," prowling about the 
country like wolves ; marking and surveying valuable spots 
to the great disquiet of the Indian tribes. "The spirit of 
emigration is great," said he; "people have got impatient, 
and though you cannot stop the road, it is yet in your power 
to mark the way ; a little while and you will not be able to 
do either." 

In the latter part of December he was at Annapolis, at 
the request of the Assembly of Virginia, to arrange matters 
with the Assembly of Maryland respecting the communica- 
tion between the Potomac and the western waters. Through 
his indefatigable exertions two companies were formed under 
the patronage of the governments of these States, for open- 
ing the navigation of the Potomac and James Rivers, and 
he was appointed president of both. By a unanimous vote 
of the Assembly of Virginia, fifty shares in the Potomac, 
and one hundred in the James River company, were appro- 
priated for his benefit, to the end that, while the great works 
he had promoted would remain monuments of his glory, they 
might also be monuments of the gratitude of his country. 
The aggregate amount of these shares was about forty 
thousand dollars. 

Washington was exceedingly embarrassed by the appro- 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$toi) 69 

priation. To decline so noble and unequivocal a testimonial 
of the good opinion and good will of his countrymen might 
be construed into disrespect, yet he wished to be perfectly 
free to exercise his judgment and express his opinions in the 
matter, without being liable to the least suspicion of inter- 
ested motives. It had been his fixed determination, also, 
when he surrendered his military command, never to hold 
any other office under government to which emolument 
might become a necessary appendage. From this resolu- 
tion his mind had never swerved. 

"While, however, he declined to receive the proffered 
shares for his own benefit, he intimated a disposition to 
receive them in trust, to be applied to the use of some object 
or institution of a public nature. His wishes were complied 
with, and the shares were ultimately appropriated by him 
to institutions devoted to public education. Yet, though 
the love for his country would thus interfere with his love 
for his home, the dream of rural retirement at Mount Vernon 
still went on. 

"The more I am acquainted with agricultural affairs,' ' 
he says, in a letter to a friend in England, "the better I am 
pleased with them ; insomuch that I can nowhere find so 
much satisfaction as in those innocent and useful pursuits. 
While indulging these feelings, I am led to reflect, how 
much more delightful to an undebauched mind is the task 
of making improvements on the earth, than all the vain- 
glory that can be acquired from ravaging it by the most 
uninterrupted career of conquest. 

"How pitiful, in this age of reason and religion, is that 
false ambition which desolates the world with fire and sword 
for the purpose of conquest and fame, compared to the 
milder virtues of making our neighbors and our fellow-men 

70 U/orKs of U/a8l?in$toi} Iruir?<$ 

as happy as their frail convictions and perishable natures 
will permit them to be." 

He had a congenial correspondent in his quondam brother- 
soldier, Governor Clinton of New York, whose spear, like 
his own, had been turned into a pruning-hook. 

" "Whenever the season is proper and an opportunity 
offers," writes he to the governor, "I shall be glad to re- 
ceive the balsam trees or others which you may think curious 
and exotic with us, as I am endeavoring to improve the 
grounds about my house in this way." He recommends 
to the governor's care certain grapevines of the choicest 
kinds for the table, which an uncle of the Chevalier de 
Luzerne had engaged to send from France, and which must 
be about to arrive at New York. He is literally going to 
sit under his own vine and his own fig-tree, and devote 
himself to the quiet pleasures of rural life. 

At the opening of the year (1785) the entries in his diary 
show him diligently employed in preparations to improve his 
groves and shrubbery. On the 10th of January he notes 
that the white thorn is full in berry. On the 20th he begins 
to clear the pine groves of undergrowth. 

In February he transplants ivy under the walls of the 
garden to which it still clings. In March he is planting 
hemlock trees, that most beautiful species of American ever- 
green, numbers of which had been brought hither from 
Occoquan. In April he is sowing holly berries in drills, 
some adjoining a green-brier hedge on the north side of the 
garden gate; others in a semi-circle on the lawn. Many of 
the holly bushes thus produced are still nourishing about the 
place in full vigor. He had learned the policy, not suffi- 
ciently adopted in our country, of clothing his ornamented 
grounds as much as possible with evergreens, which resist 

Cife of U/asl?io$toi) 71 

the rigors of our winter, and keep up a cheering verdure 
throughout the year. Of the trees fitted for shade in pasture 
land he notes the locust, maple, black mulberry, black wal- 
nut, black gum, dogwood, and sassafras, none of which, he 
observes, materially injure the grass beneath them. 

Is then for once a soldier's dream realized? Is he in per- 
fect enjoyment of that seclusion from the world and its dis- 
tractions which he had so often pictured to himself amid 
the hardships and turmoils of the camp? Alas, no! The 
"post," that "herald of a noisy world/' invades his quiet 
and loads his table with letters, until correspondence becomes 
an intolerable burden. 

He looks in despair at the daily accumulating mass of 
unanswered letters. "Many mistakenly think," writes he, 
"that I am retired to ease, and to that kind of tranquillity 
which would grow tiresome for want of employment; but 
at no period of my life, not in the eight years I served the 
public, have I been obliged to write so much myself, as I 
have done since my retirement."* Again — "It is not the 
letters from my friends which give me trouble, or add aught 
to my perplexity. It is references to old matters, with which 
I have nothing to do; applications which often cannot be 
complied with; inquiries which would require the pen of a 
historian to satisfy; letters of compliment as unmeaning 
perhaps as they are troublesome, but which must be attended 
to; and the commonplace business which employs my pen 
and my time often disagreeably. These, with company, 
deprive me of exercise, and, unless I can obtain relief, 
must be productive of disagreeable consequences." 

From much of this drudgery of the pen he was subse- 

* Letter to Richard Henry Lee. 

72 U/orKs of \JJ a&\)ir)Qtor) IruiQ$ 

quently relieved by Mr. Tobias Lear, a young gentleman 
of New Hampshire, a graduate of Harvard College, who 
acted as his private secretary, and at the same time took 
charge of the instruction of the two children of the late 
Mr. Parke Custis, whom Washington had adopted. 

There was another tax imposed by his celebrity upon his 
time and patience. Applications were continually made to 
him to sit for his likeness. The following is his sportive 
reply to Mr. Francis Hopkinson, who applied in behalf of 
Mr. Pine: 

" 'In for a penny in for a pound,' is an old adage. I 
am so hackneyed to the touches of the painters' pencil that 
I am altogether at their beck, and sit 'like Patience on a 
monument,' while they are delineating the lines of my face. 
It is a proof, among many others, of what habit and custom 
can accomplish. At first 1 was impatient at the request, and 
as restive under the operation as a colt is under the saddle. 
The next time I submitted very reluctantly, but with less 
flouncing. Now no dray-horse moves more readily to his 
thill than I to the painter's chair. It may easily be con- 
ceived, therefore, that I yield a ready obedience to your 
request, and to the views of Mr. Pine." 

It was not long after this that M. Houdon, an artist of 
great merit, chosen by Mr. Jefferson and Dr. Franklin, 
arrived from Paris to make a study of Washington for a 
statue, for the Legislature of Virginia. He remained a fort- 
night at Mount Vernon, and having formed his model, took 
it with him to Paris, where he produced that excellent statue 
and likeness to be seen in the State House in Richmond, 

Being now in some measure relieved from the labors of 
the pen, Washington had more time to devote to his plan 

Cife of \JJa&\)iT)$tor) 73 

for ornamental cultivation of the grounds about his 

We find in his diary noted down with curious exactness 
each day's labor and the share he took in it; his frequent 
rides to the Mill Swamp; the Dogue Creek; the " Plantation 
of the Neck," and other places along the Potomac in quest 
of young elms, ash trees, white thorn, crab-apples, maples, 
mulberries, willows, and lilacs; jfche winding walks which 
he lays out, and the trees and shrubs which he plants along 
them. Now he sows acorns and buck-eye nuts brought by 
himself from the Monongahela ; now he opens vistas through 
the Pine Grove, commanding distant views through the 
woodlands; and now he twines round his columns scarlet 
honeysuckles, which his gardener tells him will blow all the 

His careworn spirit freshens up in these employments. 
With him Mount Vernon is a kind of idyl. The transient 
glow of poetical feeling which once visited his bosom, when 
in boyhood he rhymed beneath its groves, seems about to 
return once more; and we please ourselves with noting 
among the trees set out by him, a group of young horse- 
chestnuts from Westmoreland, his native county, the haunt 
of his schoolboy days; which had been sent to him by 
Colonel Lee (Light-horse Harry), the son of his "Low- 
land Beauty." 

A diagram of the plan in which he had laid out his 

grounds still remains among his papers at Mount Vernon; 

the places are marked on it for particular trees and shrubs. 

Some of those trees and shrubs are still to be found in the 

places thus assigned to them. In the present neglected state 

of Mount Vernon, its walks are overgrown, and vegetation 

runs wild; but it is deeply interesting still to find traces of 

Vol. XV.—* * * 4 

74 U/orl^s of U/as^iQ^top Iruip$ 

tliese toils in which Washington delighted, and to know that 
many of the trees which give it its present umbrageous 
beauty were planted by his hand. 

The ornamental cultivation of which we have spoken was 
confined to the grounds appertaining to what was called the 
mansion - house farm ; but his estate included four other 
farms, all lying contiguous, and containing three thousand 
two hundred and sixty acres; each farm having its bailiff 
or overseer, with a house for his accommodation, barns and 
outhouses for the produce, and cabins for the negroes. On 
a general map of the estate, drawn out by "Washington him- 
self, these farms were all laid down accurately and their 
several fields numbered ; he knew the soil and local qualities 
of each, and regulated the culture of them accordingly. 

In addition to these five farms there were several hundred 
acres of fine woodland, so that the estate presented a beau- 
tiful diversity of land and water. In the stables near the 
mansion-house were the carriage and saddle horses, of which 
he was very choice ; on the four farms there were 54 draught 
horses, 12 mules, 317 head of black cattle, 360 sheep, and 
a great number of swine, which last ran at large in the 

He now read much on husbandry and gardening, and 
copied out treatises on those subjects. He corresponded also 
with the celebrated Arthur Young ; from whom he obtained 
seeds of all kinds, improved plows, plans for laying out farm- 
yards, and advice on various parts of rural economy. 

" Agriculture," writes he to him, "has ever been among 
the most favored of my amusements, though I have never 
possessed much skill in the art, and nine years' total inat- 
tention to it has added nothing to a knowledge which is best 
understood from practice; but with the means you have been 

Cife of \JJ as\)ir)$tor) 75 

so obliging as to furnish me, I shall return to it, though 
rather late in the day, with more alacrity than ever." 

In the management of his estate he was remarkably 
exact. No negligence on the part of the overseers or those 
under them was passed over unnoticed. He seldom used 
many words on the subject of his plans; rarely asked advice; 
but, when once determined, carried them directly and silently 
into execution ; and was not easily dissuaded from a project 
when once commenced. 

We have shown, in a former chapter, his mode of appor- 
tioning time at Mount Vernon, prior to the Revolution. The 
same system was, in a great measure, resumed. His active 
day began some time before the dawn. Much of his corre- 
spondence was dispatched before breakfast, which took place 
at half-past seven. After breakfast he mounted his horse, 
which stood ready at the door, and rode out to different parts 
of his estate, as he used to do to various parts of the camp, 
to see that all was right at the outposts, and every one at 
his duty. At half-past two he dined. 

If there was no company he would write until dark, or, 
if pressed by business, until nine o'clock in the evening; 
otherwise he read in the evening, or amused himself with 
a game of whist. 

His secretary, Mr. Lear, after two years' residence in 
the family on the most confidential footing, says — " General 
Washington is, I believe, almost the only man of an exalted 
character who does not lose some part of his respectability 
by an intimate acquaintance. I have never found a single 
thing that could lessen my respect for him. A complete 
knowledge of his honesty, uprightness • and candor in all 
his private transactions has sometimes led me to think him 
more than a man." 

76 U/orKs of U/asl?ir><$tor> Iruir><? 

The children of Parke Custis formed a lively part of his 
household. He was fond of children and apt to unbend with 
them. Miss Custis, recalling in after life the scenes of her 
childhood, writes, "I have sometimes made him laugh most 
heartily from sympathy with my joyous and extravagant 
spirits ;" she observes, however, that "he was a silent, 
thoughtful man. He spoke little generally; never of him- 
self. I never heard him relate a single act of his life during 
the war. I have often seen him perfectly abstracted, his 
lips moving; but no sound was perceptible.' ' 

An observant traveler, Mr. Elkanah Watson, who visited 
Mount Vernon in the winter of 1785, bearer of a letter of 
introduction from General Greene and Colonel Fitzgerald, 
gives a home picture of Washington in his retirement. 
Though sure that his credentials would secure him a re- 
spectful reception, he says, "I trembled with awe as I came 
into the presence of this great man. I found him at table 
with Mrs. Washington and his private family, and was re- 
ceived in the native dignity, and with that urbanity so 
peculiarly combined in the character of a soldier and an 
eminent private gentleman. He soon put me at my ease, 
by unbending, in a free and affable conversation. 

"The cautious reserve which wisdom and policy dictated, 
while engaged in rearing the glorious fabric of our independ- 
ence, was evidently the result of consummate prudence and 
not characteristic of his nature. I observed a peculiarity in 
his smile, which seemed to illuminate his eye; his whole 
countenance beamed with intelligence, while it commanded 
confidence and respect. 

"I found him kind and benignant in the domestic circle; 
revered and beloved by all around him; agreeably social, 
without ostentation; delighting in anecdote and venture; 

Cife of U/a8t?ir)<$tor) 77 

without assumption ; his domestic arrangements harmonious 
and systematic. His servants seemed to watch his eye and 
to anticipate his every wish; hence a look was equivalent 
to a command. His servant Billy, the faithful companion 
of his military career, was always at his side. Smiling 
content animated and beamed on every countenance in his 

In the evening Mr. Watson sat conversing for a full hour 
with Washington after all the family had retired, expecting, 
perhaps, to hear him fight over some of his battles; but, 
if so, he was disappointed, for he observes: "He modestly 
waived all allusions to the events in which he had acted so 
glorious and conspicuous a part. Much of his conversation 
had reference to the interior country, and to the opening of 
the navigation of the Potomac by canals and locks, at the 
Seneca, the Great and Little Falls. His mind appeared 
to be deeply absorbed by that object, then in earnest con- 
templation. " 

Mr. Watson had taken a severe cold in the course of a 
harsh winter journey, and coughed excessively. Washing- 
ton pressed him to take some remedies, but he declined. 
After retiring for the night his coughing increased. "When 
some time had elapsed," writes he, "the door of my room 
was gently opened, and, on drawing my bed curtains, I 
beheld Washington himself, standing at my bedside with 
a bowl of hot tea in his hand. I was mortified and distressed 
beyond expression. This little incident, occurring in com- 
mon life with an ordinary man, would not have been no- 
ticed; but as a trait of the benevolence and private virtue 
of Washington, deserves to be recorded." 

The late Bishop White, in subsequent years, speaking 
of Washington's unassuming manners, observes: "I know 

78 U/orl^s of ll/as^ir^tor) Iruir?$ 

no man who so carefully guarded against the discoursing 
of himself or of his acts, or of anything that pertained to 
him; and it has occasionally occurred to me when in his 
company, that, if a stranger to his person were present, he 
would never have known from anything said by him that 
he was conscious of having distinguished himself in the eye 
of the world.' ' 

An anecdote is told of Washington's conduct while com- 
mander-in-chief, illustrative of his benignant attention to 
others and his freedom from all assumption. While the 
army was encamped at Morristown he one day attended a 
religious meeting where divine service was to be celebrated 
in the open air. A chair had been set out for his use. Just 
before the service commenced, a woman with a child in her 
arms approached. All the seats were occupied. Washing- 
ton immediately rose, placed her in the chair which had been 
assigned to him and remained standing during the whole 

The reverential awe which his deeds and elevated posi- 
tion threw around him was often a source of annoyance to 
him in private life; especially when he perceived its effect 
upon the young and gay. We have been told of a case in 
point, when he made his appearance at a private ball where 
all were enjoying themselves with the utmost glee. The 
moment he entered the room the buoyant mirth was checked ; 
the dance lost its animation ; every face was grave ; every 
tongue was silent. He remained for a time, endeavoring 
to engage in conversation with some of the young people 
and to break the spell; finding it in vain, he retired sadly 
to the company of the elders in an adjoining room, express- 

MS. notes of the Rev. Joseph F. Tuttle. 

Cife of U/asl?i9$tor) 79 

ing his regret that his presence should operate as such a 
damper. After a little while light laughter and happy 
voices again resounded from the ballroom; upon which he 
rose cautiously, approached on tiptoe the door, which was 
ajar, and there stood for some time a delighted spectator 
of the youthful revelry. 

Washington, in fact, though habitually grave and thought- 
ful, was of a social disposition and loved cheerful society. 
He was fond of the dance; and it was the boast of many 
ancient dames in our day, who had been belles in the time 
of the Revolution, that they had danced minuets with him, 
or had him for a partner in contra-dances. There were balls 
in camp, in some of the dark times of the Revolution. "We 
had a little dance at my quarters," writes General Greene 
from Middlebrook, in March, 1779. "His Excellency and 
Mrs. Greene danced upward of three hours without once 
sitting down. Upon the whole, we had a pretty little frisk. " * 

A letter of Colonel Tench Tilghman, one of Washington's 
aides-de-camp, gives an instance of the general's festive gay- 
ety when, in the above year, the army was cantoned near 
Morristown. A large company, of which the General and 
Mrs. Washington, General and Mrs. Greene, and Mr. and 
Mrs. Olney were part, dined with Colonel and Mrs. Biddle. 
Some little time after the ladies had retired from table, Mr. 
Olney followed them into the next room. A clamor was 
raised against him as a deserter, and it was resolved that a 
party should be sent to demand him, and that if the ladies 
refused to give him up he should be brought by force. 
Washington humored the joke and offered to head the 
party. He led it with great formality to the door of the 

* Greene to Colonel Wadsworth. MS. 

80 U/orKs of U/asl?ir}<$tor) Iruir?o; 

drawing-room and sent in a summons. The ladies refused 
to give up the deserter. An attempt was made to capture 
him. The ladies came to the rescue. There was a melee, 
in the course of which his Excellency seems to have had a 
passage at arms with Mrs. Olney. The ladies were victori- 
ous, as they always ought to be, says the gallant Tilghman.* 

Mr. Olney wrote to Colonel Tilghman, begging him to 
refute the scandal. The latter gave a true statement of the 
affair, declaring that the whole was done in jest, and that in 
the mock-contest Mrs. Olney had made use of no expressions 
unbecoming a lady of her good breeding, or such as were 
taken the least amiss by the general. 

More than one instance is told of Washington's being 
surprised into hearty fits of laughter, even during the war. 
"We have recorded one produced by the sudden appearance 
of old General Putnam on horseback, with a female prisoner 
en croupe. The following is another which occurred at the 
camp at Morristown. Washington had purchased a young 
horse of great spirit and power. A braggadocio of the army, 
vain of his horsemanship, asked the privilege of breaking it. 
Washington gave his consent, and with some of his officers 
attended to see the horse receive his first lesson. After 
much preparation, the pretender to equitation mounted into 
the saddle and was making a great display of his science, 
when the horse suddenly planted his forefeet, threw up his 
heels, and gave the unlucky Gambado a somerset over his 
head. Washington, a thorough horseman, and quick to per- 

* This sportive occurrence gave rise to a piece of camp 
scandal. It was reported at a distance that Mrs. Olney had 
been in a violent rage, and had told Washington that, "if he 
did not let go her hand she would tear his eyes out, and that, 
though he was a general, he was but a man." 

Cife of U/a8^ir><$tor> 81 

ceive the ludicrous in these matters, was so convulsed with 
laughter that, we are told, the tears ran down his cheeks.* 

Still another instance is given, which occurred at the re- 
turn of peace, when he was sailing in a boat on the Hudson, 
and was so overcome by the drollery of a story told by Ma- 
jor Fairlie of New York, of facetious memory, that he fell 
back in the boat in a paroxysm of laughter. In that fit of 
laughter it was sagely presumed that he threw off the bur- 
den of care which had been weighing down his spirits 
throughout the war. He certainly relaxed much of his 
thoughtful gravity of demeanor when he had no longer the 
anxieties of a general command to harass him. The late 
Judge Brooke, who had served as an officer in the legion 
of Light-horse Harry, used to tell of having frequently met 
Washington on his visits to Fredericksburg after the Revolu- 
tionary war, and how " hilarious' ' the general was on those 
occasions with "Jack Willis and other friends of his young 
days," laughing heartily at the comic songs which were 
sung at table. 

Colonel Henry Lee, too, who used to be a favored guest 
at Mount Vernon, does not seem to have been much under 
the influence of that "reverential awe" which Washington 
is said to have inspired, if we may judge from the following 
anecdote. Washington one day at table mentioned his being 
in want of carriage horses, and asked Lee if he knew where 
he could get a pair. 

"I have a fine pair, general," replied Lee, "but you can- 
not get them." 

"Why not?" 

"Because you will never pay more than half price for 
anything, and I must have full price for my horses." 
* Notes of the Rev. Mr. Tuttle. MS. 

$2 U/orl^s of U/asfyir^toi} Iruio$ 

The bantering reply set Mrs. "Washington laughing, and 
her parrot, perched beside her, joined in the laugh. The 
general took this familiar assault upon his dignity in great 
good part. "Ah, Lee, you are a funny fellow, " said he — 
"see, that bird is laughing at you." * 

Hearty laughter, however, was rare with Washington. 
The sudden explosions we hear of were the result of some 
sudden and ludicrous surprise. His general habit was a 
calm seriousness, easily softening into a benevolent smile. 

In some few of his familiar letters yet preserved, and not 
relating to business, there is occasionally a vein of pleasantry 
and even of humor ; but almost invariably they treat of mat- 
ters of too grave import to admit of anything of the kind. 
It is to be deeply regretted that most of his family letters 
have been purposely destroyed. 


Another instance is on record of one of Washington's fits 
of laughter which occurred in subsequent years. Judge Mar- 
shall and Judge Washington, a relative of the general, were 
on their way on horseback to visit Mount Vernon, attended 
by a black servant who had charge of a large portmanteau 
containing their clothes. As they passed through a wood 
on the skirts of the Mount Vernon grounds they were 
tempted to make a hasty toilet beneath its shade, being 
covered with dust from the state of the roads. Dismount- 
ing, they threw off their dusty garments, while the servant 
took down the portmanteau. As he opened it, out flew cakes 
cf Windsor soap and fancy articles of all kinds. The man by 
mistake had changed their portmanteau at the last stopping 
place for one which resembled it belonging to a Scotch ped- 

* Communicated to us in a letter from a son of Colonel 

Cife of U/as^ip<$tor> 83 

dler. The consternation of the negro, and their own dis- 
mantled state, struck them so ludicrously as to produce loud 
and repeated bursts of laughter. Washington, who hap- 
pened to be out upon his grounds, was attracted by the 
noise, and so overcome by the strange plight of his friends 
and the whimsicality of the whole scene that he is said to 
have actually rolled on the grass with laughter. — See Life 
of Judge J. Smith. 

The passion for hunting had revived with Washington on 
returning to his old hunting-grounds ; but he had no hounds. 
His kennel had been broken up when he went to the wars, 
and the dogs given away, and it was not easy to replace 
them. After a time he received several hounds from France, 
sent out by Lafayette and other of the French officers, and 
once more sallied forth to renew his ancient sport. The 
French hounds, however, proved indifferent; he was out 
with them repeatedly, putting other hounds with them bor- 
rowed from gentlemen of the neighborhood. They im- 
proved, after a while, but were never stanch, and caused 
him frequent disappointments. Probably he was not as 
stanch himself as formerly; an interval of several years 
may have blunted his keenness, if we may judge from the 
following entry in his diary : 

"Out after breakfast with my hounds; found a fox and 
ran him, sometimes hard, and sometimes at cold; hunting 
from 11 till near 2 — when I came home and left the hunts- 
men with them, who followed in the same manner two hours 
or more, and then took the dogs off without killing. ,, 

He appears at one time to have had an idea of stocking 
part of his estate with deer. In a letter to his friend, George 
William Fairfax, in England, a letter expressive of kind rec- 
ollections of former companionship, he says: "Though envy 

84 U/orl^s of U/a8l?ir)$tor) Iruir}<$ 

is no part of 1113' composition, yet the picture you have drawn 
of your present habitation and mode of living is enough to 
create a strong desire in me to be a participator of the tran- 
quillity and rural amusements you have described. I am 
getting into the latter as fast as I can, being determined to 
make the remainder of my life easy, let the world or the 
affairs of it go as they may. I am not a little obliged to you 
for contributing to this, by procuring me a buck and doe of 
the best English deer; but if you have not already been at 
this trouble, I would, my good sir, now wish to relieve you 
from it, as Mr. Ogle, of Maryland, has been so obliging as 
to present me six fawns from his park of English deer at 
Bellair. With these, and tolerable care, I shall soon have a 
full stock for my small paddock. * 

"While Washington was thus calmly enjoying himself, 
came a letter from Henry Lee, who was now in Congress, 
conveying a mournful piece of intelligence: "Your friend 
and second, the patriot and noble Greene, is no more. Uni- 
versal grief reigns here." Greene died on the 18th of June, 
at his estate of Mulberry Grove, on Savannah River, pre- 
sented to him by the State of Georgia. His last illness was 
brief; caused by a stroke of the sun; he was but forty-four 
years of age. 

The news of his death struck heavily on Washington's 
heart, to whom, in the most arduous trials of the Revolu- 
tion, he had been a second self. He had taken Washington 
as his model, and possessed naturally many of his great 

* George William Fairfax resided in Bath, where he died 
on the 3d of April, 1787, in the sixty-third year of his age. 
Though his income was greatly reduced by the confiscation 
of his property in Virginia, he contributed generously dur- 
ing the Revolutionary war to the relief of American prisoners. 
—Sparks' Washington's Writings, v. ii., p. 53. 

Cife of U/asl?ir}<$toi) 85 

qualities. Like him he was sound in judgment; persever- 
ing in the midst of discouragements ; calm and self-possessed 
in time of danger; heedful of the safety of others; heedless 
of his own. Like him he was modest and unpretending, 
and like him he had a perfect command of temper. 

He had Washington's habits of early rising, and close 
and methodical dispatch of business, "never suffering the day 
to crowd upon the morrow." In private intercourse he was 
frank, noble, candid and intelligent ; in the hurry of busi- 
ness he was free from petulance, and had, we are told, "a 
winning blandness of manner that won the affections of his 

His campaigns in the Carolinas showed him to be a 
worthy disciple of "Washington, keeping the war alive by 
his own persevering hope and inexhaustible energy, and, as 
it were, fighting almost without weapons. His great con- 
test of generalship with the veteran Cornwallis has insured 
for him a lasting renown. 

"He was a great and good man!" was Washington's 
comprehensive eulogy on him ; and in a letter to Lafayette 
he writes: "Greene's death is an event which has given 
such general concern, and is so much regretted by his nu- 
merous friends, that I can scarce persuade myself to touch 
upon it, even so far as to say that in him you lost a man 
who affectionately regarded and was a sincere admirer of 
you." s 

Other deaths pressed upon Washington's sensibility about 

* We are happy to learn that a complete collection of the 
correspondence of General Greene is about to be published 
by his worthy and highly cultivated grandson, George Wash- 
ington Greene. It is a work that, like Sparks' Writings of 
Washington, should form a part of every American library. 

86 U/orKs of U/asl?i9$toi) Irvii}$ 

the same time. That of General McDougall, who had served 
his country faithfully through the war, and since with equal 
fidelity in Congress. That, too, of Colonel Tench Tilghman, 
for a long time one of Washington's aides-de-camp, and 
"who left," writes he, "as fair a reputation as ever be- 
longed to a human character.' ' "Thus," adds he, "some 
of the pillars of the Revolution fall. Others are mouldering 
by insensible degrees. May our country never want props 
to support the glorious fabric." 

In his correspondence, about this time, with several of 
the French noblemen who had been his associates in arms, 
his letters breathe the spirit of peace which was natural to 
him ; for war with him had only been a matter of patriotism 
and public duty. To the Marquis de la Rouerie, who had 
so bravely but modestly fought under the title of Colonel 
Armand, he writes: "I never expect to draw my sword 
again. I can scarcely conceive the cause that would in- 
duce me to do it. My time is now occupied by rural amuse- 
ments, in which I have great satisfaction; and my first wish 
is (although it is against the profession of arms, and would 
clip the wings of some of our young soldiers who are soaring 
after glory) to see the whole world in peace, and the inhab- 
itants of it as one band of brothers, striving who should con- 
tribute most to the happiness of mankind." 

So, also, in a letter to Count Rochambeau, dated July 
31, 1786 : "It must give pleasure," writes he, "to the friends 
of humanity, even in this distant section of the globe, to find 
that the clouds which threatened to burst in a storm of war 
on Europe have dissipated and left a still brighter horizon. 
... As the rage of conquest, which in times of barbarity 
stimulated nations to blood, has in a great measure ceased; 
as the objects which formerly gave birth to wars are daily 

Cife of WastyvqtoT) 87 

diminishing, and as mankind are becoming more enlight- 
ened and humanized, I cannot but flatter myself with the 
pleasing prospect that a more liberal policy and more pacific 
systems will take place among them. To indulge this idea 
affords a soothing consolation to a philanthropic mind ; in- 
somuch that, although it should be found an illusion, one 
would hardly wish to be divested of an error so grateful in 
itself and so innocent in its consequences." 

And in another letter: "It is thus, you see, my dear 
count, in retirement upon my farm I speculate upon the fate 
of nations, amusing myself with innocent reveries that man- 
kind will one day grow happier and better." 

How easily may the wisest of men be deceived in their 
speculations as to the future, especially when founded on the 
idea of the perfectibility of human nature. These halcyon 
dreams of universal peace were indulged on the very eve, as 
it were, of the French Revolution, which was to deluge the 
world in blood, and when the rage for conquest was to have 
unbounded scope under the belligerent sway of Napoleon. 


Washington doubts the Solidity of the Confederation — Correspond- 
ence with John Jay on the Subject — Plan of a Convention of all 
the States to revise the Federal System — Washington heads the 
Virginia Delegation — Insurrection in Massachusetts — The Con- 
vention — A Federal Constitution organized — Ratified 

From his quiet retreat of Mount Vernon, Washington, 
though ostensibly withdrawn from public affairs, was watch- 
ing with intense solicitude the working together of the sev- 
eral parts in the great political confederacy; anxious to 

88 U/orl^8 of U/asbip^toi) Irvir?$ 

know whether the thirteen distinct States, under the present 
organization, could form a sufficiently efficient general gov- 
ernment. He was daily becoming more and more doubtful 
of the solidity of the fabric he had assisted to raise, The 
form of confederation which had bound the States together 
and met the public exigencies during the Revolution, when 
there was a pressure of external danger, was daily proving 
more and more incompetent to the purposes of a national 
government. Congress had devised a system of credit to 
provide for the national expenditure and the extinction of 
the national debts, which amounted to something more than 
forty millions of dollars. The system experienced neglect 
from some States and opposition from others, each consult- 
ing its local interests and prejudices, instead of the interests 
and obligations of the whole. In like manner treaty stipula- 
tions, which bound the good faith of the whole, were slighted, 
if not violated, by individual States, apparently unconscious 
that they must each share in the discredit thus brought upon 
the national name. 

In a letter to James Warren, who had formerly been 
President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, "Wash- 
ington writes: "The confederation appears to me to be little 
more than a shadow without the substance, and Congress a 
nugatory body ; their ordinances being little attended to. To 
me it is a solecism in politics; indeed, it is one of the most 
extraordinary things in nature that we should confederate 
as a nation, and yet be afraid to give the rulers of that na- 
tion (who are creatures of our own making, appointed for a 
limited and short duration, and who are amenable for every 
action and may be recalled at any moment, and are subject 
to all the evils which they may be instrumental in produc- 
ing) sufficient powers to order and direct the affairs of the 

Cife of U/asf?ii7$eoi) 89 

same. By such policy as this the wheels of government are 
clogged, and our brightest prospects, and that high expecta- 
tion which was entertained of us by the wondering world, 
are turned into astonishment ; and from the high ground on 
which we stood we are descending into the vale of confusion 
and darkness." * 

Not long previous to the writing of this letter Washing 
ton had been visited at Mount Vernon by commissioners, 
who had been appointed by the Legislatures of Virginia and 
Maryland to form a compact relative to the navigation of 
the rivers Potomac and Pocomoke, and of part of the Chesa- 
peake Bay, and who had met at Alexandria for the purpose. 
During their visit at Mount Vernon the policy of maintain- 
ing a naval force on the Chesapeake, and of establishing a 
tariff of duties on imports to which the laws of both States 
should conform was discussed, and it was agreed that the 
commissioners should propose to the governments of their 
respective States the appointment of other commissioners, 
with powers to make conjoint arrangements for the above 
purposes; to which the assent of Congress was to be solicited. 

The idea of conjoint arrangements between States thus 
suggested in the quiet councils of Mount Vernon was a step 
in the right direction, and will be found to lead to important 

From a letter, written two or three months subsequently, 
we gather some of the ideas on national policy which were 
occupying "Washington's mind. "I have ever been a friend 
to adequate powers in Congress, without which it is evident 
to me we never shall establish a national character, or be 
considered as on a respectable footing by the powers of Eu- 

* Sparks, ix. 139. 

00 U/orl^s of U/as^ip^top Irvii)$ 

rope. We are either a united people under one head and for 
federal purposes, or we are thirteen independent sovereign- 
ties, eternally counteracting each other. If the former, 
whatever such a majority of the States as the constitution 
points out, conceives to be for the benefit of the whole, 
should, in my humble opinion, be submitted to by the mi- 
nority. I can foresee no evil greater than disunion ; than 
those unreasonable jealousies (I say unreasonable, because 

1 would have a proper jealousy always awake, and the 
United States on the watch to prevent individual States from 
infracting the constitution with impunity) which are contin- 
ually poisoning our minds and filling them with imaginary 
evils jor the prevention of real ones." * 

An earnest correspondence took place some months sub- 
sequently between Washington and the illustrious patriot, 
John Jay, at that time Secretary of Foreign Affairs, wherein 
the signs of the times were feelingly discussed. 

"Our affairs," writes Jay, "seem to lead to some crisis, 
something that I cannot foresee or conjecture. I am uneasy 
and apprehensive, more so than during the war. Then we 
had a fixed object, and though the means and time of obtain- 
ing it were problematical, yet I did firmly believe that we 
should ultimately succeed, because I did firmly believe that 
justice was with us. The case is now altered. We are go- 
ing and doing wrong, and therefore I look forward to evils 
and calamities, but without being able to guess at the instru- 
ment, nature, or measure of them. . . . What I most fear 
is that the better kind of people, by which I mean the people 
who are orderly and industrious, who are content with their 
situations and not uneasy in their circumstances, will be led 

* See Letter to James McHenry. Sparks, ix. 121. 

Cife of U/as^ir^too 91 

by the insecurity of property, the loss of public faith and 
rectitude, to consider the charms of liberty as imaginary and 
delusive. A state of uncertainty and fluctuation must dis- 
gust and alarm." Washington, in reply, coincided in opin- 
ion that public affairs were drawing rapidly to a crisis, and 
he acknowledged the event to be equally beyond his fore- 
sight. "We have errors," said he, "to correct. We have 
probably had too good an opinion of human nature in form- 
ing our confederation. Experience has taught us that men 
will not adopt and carry into execution measures the best 
calculated for their own good without the intervention of co- 
ercive power. I do not conceive we can exist long as a na- 
tion without lodging, somewhere, a power which will pervade 
the whole Union in as energetic a manner as the authority 
of the State governments extends over the several States. 
To be fearful of investing Congress, constituted as that body 
is, with ample authorities for national purposes, appears to 
me the very climax of popular absurdity and madness. 
Could Congress exert them for the detriment of the people 
without injuring themselves in an equal or greater propor- 
tion? Are not their interests inseparably connected with 
those of their constituents? By the rotation of appointments 
must they not mingle frequently with the mass of the citi- 
zens? Is it not rather to be apprehended, if they were not 
possessed of the powers before described, that the individual 
members would be induced to use them, on many occasions, 
very timidly and inefficaciously, for fear of losing their popu- 
larity and future election? We must take human nature as 
we find it; perfection falls not to the share of mortals. 

"What then is to be done? things cannot go on in the 
same strain forever. It is much to be feared, as you ob- 
serve, that the better kind of people, being disgusted with 

32 U/or^s of U/as^ir)($tOQ Irving 

these circumstances, will have their minds prepared for any 
revolution whatever. We are apt to run from one extreme 
to another. ... I am told that even respectable characters 
speak of a monarchial form of government without horror. 
From thinking proceeds speaking, thence acting is often but 
a single step. But how irrevocable and tremendous ! "What 
a triumph for our enemies to verify their predictions ! What a 
triumph for the advocates of despotism to find that we are 
incapable of governing ourselves, and that systems founded 
on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal and fallacious ! 
Would to God that wise measures may be taken in time 
to avert the consequences we have but too much reason to 

M Retired as I am from the world, I frankly acknowledge 
I cannot feel myself an unconcerned spectator. Yet, hav- 
ing happily assisted in bringing the ship into port, and hav- 
ing been fairly discharged, it is not my business to embark 
again on the sea of troubles. 

"Nor could it be expected that my sentiments and opin- 
ions would have much weight in the minds of my country- 
men. They have been neglected, though given as a last 
legacy, in a most solemn manner. I then, perhaps, had 
some claims to public attention. I consider myself as hav- 
ing none at present." 

His anxiety on this subject was quickened by accounts 
of discontents and commotions in the Eastern States pro- 
duced by the pressure of the times, the public and private 
indebtedness, and the imposition of heavy taxes at a moment 
of financial embarrassment. 

General Knox, now Secretary of War, who had been 
sent by Congress to Massachusetts to inquire into these 
troubles, thus writes about the insurgents: "Their creed is 

Cife of U/a8^iQ<$tor> 93 

that the property of the United States has been protected 
from the confiscation of Britain by the joint exertions of all, 
and therefore ought to be the common property of all, and 
he that attempts opposition to this creed is an enemy to 
equity and justice, and ought to be swept from off the face 
of the earth." Again: "They are determined to annihilate 
all debts, public and private, and have agrarian laws, which 
are easily effected by the means of unfunded paper, which 
shall be a tender in all cases whatever.' ' 

In reply to Colonel Henry Lee in Congress, who had 
addressed several letters to him on the subject, Washington 
writes: "You talk, my good sir, of employing influence 
to appease the present tumults in Massachusetts. I know 
not where that influence is to be found, or, if attainable, that 
it would be a proper remedy for the disorders. Influence 
is not government. Let us have a government by which 
our lives, liberties and properties will be secured, or let us 
know the worst at once. There is a call for decision. Know 
precisely what the insurgents aim at. If they have real 
grievances, redress them, if possible; or acknowledge the 
justice of them and your inability to do it at the moment. 
If they have not, employ the force of government against 
them at once. If this is inadequate, all will be convinced 
that the superstructure is bad and wants support. To delay 
one or other of these expedients is to exasperate on the one 
hand, or to give confidence on the other. . . . Let the reins 
of government, then, be braced and held with a steady hand, 
and every violation of the constitution be reprehended. If 
defective, let it be amended ; but not suffered to be trampled 
upon while it has an existence." 

A letter to him from his former aid-de-camp, Colonel 
Humphreys, dated New Haven, November 1st, says: "The 

94 ll/or^s of U/asfyin^tor; Iruir?$ 

troubles in Massachusetts still continue. Government is 
prostrated in the dust, and it is much to be feared that there 
is not energy enough in that State to re-establish the civil 
powers. The leaders of the mob, whose fortunes and meas- 
ures are desperate, are strengthening themselves daily ; and 
it is expected that they will soon take possession of the Con- 
tinental magazine at Springfield, in which there are from 
ten to fifteen thousand stand of arms in excellent order. 

"A general want of compliance with the requisitions of 
Congress for money seems to prognosticate that we are 
rapidly advancing to a crisis. Congress, I am told, are 
seriously alarmed and hardly know which way to turn or 
what to expect. Indeed, my dear General, nothing but a 
good Providence can extricate us from the present convul- 

"In case of civil discord I have already told you it was 
seriously my opinion that you could not remain neuter, and 
that you would be obliged, in self-defense, to take one part 
or the other, or withdraw from the continent. Your friends 
are of the same opinion. ' ' 

Close upon the receipt of this letter came intelligence that 
the insurgents of Massachusetts, far from being satisfied with 
the redress which had been offered by their general court, 
were still acting in open violation of law and government; 
and that the chief magistrate had been obliged to call upon 
the militia of the State to support the constitution. 

"What, gracious God! is man," writes Washington, 
"that there should be such inconsistency and perfidiousness 
in his conduct. It was but the other day that we were shed- 
ding our blood to obtain the constitutions under which we 
now live; constitutions of our own choice and making; and 
now we are unsheating the sword to overturn them. The 

Cife of U/asl?ip<$top 95 

thing is so unaccountable that I hardly know how to realize 
it, or to persuade myself that I am not under the illusion of 
a dream." 

His letters to Knox show the trouble of his mind. "I feel, 
my dear General Knox, infinitely more than I can express 
to you, for the disorders which have arisen in these States. 
Good God! who, besides a tory, could have foreseen, or a 
Briton predicted them? I do assure you that, even at this 
moment, when I reflect upon the present prospect of our 
affairs, it seems to me to be like the vision of a dream. . . 
After what I have seen, or rather what I have heard, 1 
shall be surprised at nothing; for if, three years since, any 
person had told me that there would have been such a for- 
midable rebellion as exists at this day against the laws and 
constitution of our own making, I should have thought him 
a bedlamite, a fit subject for a madhouse. . . In regret- 
ting, which I have often done with the keenest sorrow, the 
death of our much lamented friend, General Greene, I have 
accompanied it of late with a query, whether he would not 
have preferred such an exit to the scenes which, it is more 
than probable, many of his compatriots may live to be- 

To James Madison, also, he writes in the same strain. 
"How melancholy is the reflection that in so short a time 
we should have made such large strides toward fulfilling 
the predictions of our transatlantic foes! 'Leave them 
to themselves, and their government will soon dissolve.' 
Will not the wise and good strive hard to avert this evil? 
Or will their supineness suffer ignorance and the arts of 
self-interested and designing, disaffected and desperate char- 
acters to involve this great country in wretchedness and 
contempt? What stronger evidence can be given of the 

96 U/orl^8 of U/asl?ii7<$toi) Iruir)<$ 

want of energy in our government than these disorders? If 
there is not power in it to check them, what security has a 
man for life, liberty or property? To you, I am sure, I need 
not add aught on the subject. The consequences of a lax 
or inefficient government are too obvious to be dwelt upon. 
Thirteen sovereignties pulling against each other, and all 
tugging at the federal head, will soon bring ruin on the 
whole; whereas, a liberal and energetic constitution, well 
checked and well watched, to prevent encroachments, might 
restore us to that degree of respectability and consequence 
to which we had the fairest prospect of attaining." 

Thus Washington, even though in retirement, was almost 
unconsciously exercising a powerful influence on national 
affairs; no longer the soldier, he was now becoming the 
statesman. The opinions and counsels given in his letters 
were widely effective. The leading expedient for federal 
organization, mooted in his conferences with the commis- 
sioners of Maryland and Virginia, during their visit to Mount 
Vernon in the previous year, had been extended and ripened 
in legislative assemblies, and ended in a plan of a convention 
composed of delegates from all the States, to meet in Phila- 
delphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the fed- 
eral system and correcting its defects; the proceedings of 
the convention to be subsequently reported to Congress and 
the several Legislatures for approval and confirmation. 

Washington was unanimously put at the head of the 
Virginia delegation; but for some time objected to accept 
the nomination. He feared to be charged with inconsistency 
in again appearing in a public situation after his declared 
resolution to the contrary. "It will have also," said he, "a 
tendency to sweep me back into the tide of public affairs, 
when retirement and ease are so much desired by me, and 

Cife of U/a8^iQ<$tor> 97 

so essentially necessary." * Besides, he had just avowed his 
intention of resigning the presidency of the Cincinnati Society, 
which was to hold its triennial meeting in May, in Philadel- 
phia, and he could not appear at the same time and place on 
any other occasion without giving offense to his worthy com- 
panions in arms, the late officers of the American army. 

These considerations were strenuously combated, for the 
weight and influence of his name and counsel were felt to be 
all-important in giving dignity to the delegation. Two things 
contributed to bring him to a favorable decision: First, an 
insinuation that the opponents of the convention were mon- 
archists, who wished the distractions of the country should 
continue until a monarchial government might be resorted 
to as an ark of safety. The other was the insurrection in 

Having made up his mind to serve as a delegate to the 
convention, he went into a course of preparatory reading on 
the history and principles of ancient and modern confeder- 
acies. An abstract of the general principles of each, with 
notes of their vices or defects, exists in his own handwriting 
among his papers; though it is doubted by a judicious com- 
mentator f whether it was originally drawn up by him, as 
several works are cited which are written in languages that 
he did not understand. 

Before the time arrived for the meeting of the convention, 
which was the second Monday in May, his mind was relieved 
from one source of poignant solicitude by learning that the 
insurrection in Massachusetts had been suppressed with but 

* Letter to Edmund Randolph, Governor of Virginia, 
f Mr. Sparks. For this interesting document see Writ- 
ings of Washington, vol. ix., Appendix, No. iv. 

Vol. XV.— ***5 

98 U/or^s of U/asf?ir)<$tor) Iruir}$ 

little bloodshed, and that the principals had fled to Canada. 
He doubted, however, the policy of the Legislature of that 
State in disfranchising a large number of its citizens for their 
rebellious conduct, thinking more lenient measures might 
have produced as good an effect without entirely alienating 
the affections of the people from the government, besides 
depriving some of them of the means of gaining a livelihood. 

On the 9th of May, Washington set out in his carriage 
from Mount Vernon to attend the convention. 

At Chester, where he arrived on the 13th, he was met by 
General Mifflin, now speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly, 
Generals Knox and Varnum, Colonel Humphreys and other 
personages of note. At Gray's Ferry the city light-horse 
were in attendance, by whom he was escorted to Phila- 

It was not until the 25th of May that a sufficient number 
of delegates were assembled to form a quorum ; when they 
proceeded to organize a body, and by a unanimous vote 
Washington was called up to the chair as President. 

The following anecdote is recorded by Mr. Leigh Pierce, 
who was a delegate from Georgia. When the convention 
first opened there were a number of propositions brought for- 
ward as great leading principles of the new government to 
be established. A copy of them was given to each member, 
with an injunction of profound secrecy. One morning a 
member, by accident, dropped his copy of the propositions. 
It was luckily picked up by General Mifflin and handed to 
General Washington, who put it in his pocket. After the 
debates of the day were over, and the question for adjourn- 
ment was called for, Washington rose, and, previous to 
putting the question, addressed the committee as follows: 
** Gentlemen, I am sorry to find that some one member of 

Cife of WastyvqtoT) 09 

this body has been so neglectful of the secrets of the conven- 
tion as to drop in the State House a copy of their proceedings, 
which, by accident, was picked up and delivered to me this 
morning. I must entreat gentlemen to be more careful, lest 
our transactions get into the newspapers and disturb the public 
repose by premature speculations. I know not whose paper 
it is, but there it is (throwing it down on the table) ; let him 
who owns it take it." At the same time he bowed, took his 
hat, and left the room with a dignity so severe that every 
person seemed alarmed. "For my part I was extremely 
so," adds Mr. Pierce, "for, putting my hand in my pocket, 
I missed my copy of the same paper; but, advancing to the 
table, my fears soon dissipated. I found it to be in the hand- 
writing of another person." 

Mr. Pierce found his copy at his lodgings, in the pocket 
of a coat which he had changed that morning. No person 
ever ventured to claim the anonymous paper. 

We forbear to go into the voluminous proceedings of this 
memorable convention, which occupied from four to seven 
hours each day for four months; and in which every point 
was the subject of able and scrupulous discussion by the 
best talent and noblest spirits of the country. Washington 
felt restrained by his situation as president from taking a 
part in the debates, but his well-known opinions influenced 
the whole. The result was the formation of the Constitution 
of the United States, which (with some amendments made 
in after years) still exists. 

As the members on the last day of the session were sign- 
ing the engrossed constitution, Dr. Franklin, looking toward 
the President's chair, at the back of which a sun was painted, 
observed to those persons next to him, "I have often and 
often, in the course of the session, and the vicissitudes of my 

100 U/or^s of U/asl?iD<$tOD Irving 

hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that sun behind the 
President, without being able to tell whether it was rising 
or setting; at length I have the happiness to know it is a 
rising and not a setting sun." * 

"The business being closed," says "Washington in his 
diary (Sept. 17), "the members adjourned to the city tavern, 
dined together, and took a cordial leave of each other. After 
which I returned to my lodgings, did some business with, 
and received the papers from, the secretary of the conven- 
tion, and retired to meditate on the momentous work which 
had been executed." 

"It appears to me little short of a miracle," writes he 
to Lafayette, "that the delegates from so many States, 
different from each other, as you know, in their manners, 
circumstances and prejudices, should unite in forming a 
system of national government so little liable to well-founded 
objections. Nor am I such an enthusiastic, partial, or un- 
discriminating admirer of it as not to perceive it is tinctured 
with some real, though not radical defects. With regard 
to the two great points, the pivots upon which the whole 
machine must move, my creed is simply: First, that the gen- 
eral government is not invested with more powers than are 
indispensably necessary to perform the functions of a good 
government; and, consequently, that no objection ought to 
be made against the quantity of power delegated to it. 

"Secondly, that these powers, as the appointment of all 
rulers will forever arise from, and at short, stated intervals 
recur to, the free suffrages of the people, are so distributed 
among the legislative, executive and judicial branches into 
which the general government is arranged that it can never 

The Madison Papers, iii. 1624. 

Cife of U/a8^fQ<$tor) 101 

be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, an oligarchy, 
an aristocracy, or any other despotic or oppressive form, so 
long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the 

"It will at least be a recommendation to the proposed 
constitution that it is provided with more checks and bar- 
riers against the introduction of tyranny, and those of a 
nature less liable to be surmounted, than any government 
hitherto instituted among mortals. 

"We are not to expect perfection in this world; but man- 
kind, in modern times, have apparently made some progress 
in the science of government. Should that which is now 
offered to the people of America be found, on experiment, 
less perfect than it can be made, a constitutional door is left 
open to its amelioration." 

The constitution thus formed was forwarded to Congress, 
and thence transmitted to the State Legislatures, each of 
which submitted it to a State convention composed of dele- 
gates chosen for that express purpose by the people. The 
ratification of the instrument by nine States was necessary 
to carry it into effect ; and as the several State conventions 
would assemble at different times, nearly a year must elapse 
before the decisions of the requisite number could be obtained. 

During this time "Washington resumed his retired life at 
Mount Vernon, seldom riding, as he says, beyond the limits 
of his own farm, but kept informed by his numerous corre- 
spondents, such as James Madison, John Jay, and Generals 
Knox, Lincoln and Armstrong, of the progress of the consti- 
tution through its various ordeals, and of the strenuous oppo- 
sition which it met with in different quarters, both in debate 
and through the press. A diversity of opinions and inclina- 
tions on the subject had been expected by him. "The vari- 

102 U/orl^g of U/as^ir>^tor> Irvio$ 

ous passions and motives by which men are influenced, " said 
he, "are concomitants of fallibility, and ingrafted into our 
nature. ' ' Still he never had a doubt that it would ultimately 
be adopted; and, in fact, the national decision in its favor 
was more fully and strongly pronounced than even he had 

His feelings on learning the result were expressed with 
that solemn and religious faith in the protection of Heaven 
manifested by him in all the trials and vicissitudes through 
which his country had passed. "We may," said he, "with 
a kind of pious and grateful exultation, trace the finger of 
Providence through those dark and mysterious events which 
first induced the States to appoint a general convention, and 
then led them, one after another, by such steps as were best 
calculated to effect the object, into an adoption of the system 
recommended by the general convention; thereby, in all 
human probability, laying a lasting foundation for tran- 
quillity and happiness, when we had but too much reason 
to fear that confusion and misery were coming rapidly upon 

The testimonials of ratification having been received by 
Congress from a sufficient number of States, an act was 
passed by that body on the 13th of September, appointing 
the first "Wednesday in January, 1789, for the people of the 
United States to choose electors of a President according 
to the Constitution, and the first Wednesday in the month 
of February following for the electors to meet and make a 
choice. The meeting of the government was to be on the 
first Wednesday in March, and in the city of New York. 

* Letter to Jonathan Trumbull, 20th July, 1788. 

Cife of U/as^ip^top 103 


Washington talked of for the Presidency — His Letters on the 
Subject expressing his Reluctance — His Election — His Prog- 
ress to the Seat of Government — His Reception at New York — 
The Inauguration 

The adoption of the Federal Constitution was another 
epoch in the life of Washington. Before the official forms 
of an election could be carried into operation, a unanimous 
sentiment throughout the Union pronounced him the nation's 
choice to fill the presidential chair. He looked forward to 
the possibility of his election with characteristic modesty 
and unfeigned reluctance, as his letters to his confidential 
friends bear witness. "It has no fascinating allurements 
for me," writes he to Lafayette. "At my time of life and 
under my circumstances, the increasing infirmities of nature 
and the growing love of retirement do not permit me to 
entertain a wish beyond living and dying an honest man 
on my own farm. Let those follow the pursuits of ambition 
and fame who have a keener relish for them, or who may 
have more years in store for the enjoyment." 

Colonel Henry Lee had written to him warmly and elo- 
quently on the subject. "My anxiety is extreme that the 
new government may have an auspicious beginning. To 
effect this and to perpetuate a nation formed under your 
auspices, it is certain that again you will be called forth. 
The same principles of devotion to the good of mankind 

104 ll/or^s of U/astyir^too Iruir}<$ 

which have invariably governed your conduct will no doubt 
continue to rule your mind, however opposite their conse- 
quences may be to your repose and happiness. If the same 
success should attend your efforts on this important occasion 
which has distinguished you hitherto, then to be sure you 
will have spent a life which Providence rarely, if ever, gave 
to the lot of one man. It is my belief, it is my anxious hope, 
that this will be the case." 

"The event to which you allude may never happen," 
replies "Washington. "This consideration alone would super- 
sede the expediency of announcing any definitive and irrevo- 
cable resolution. You are among the small number of those 
who know my invincible attachment to domestic life, and 
that my sincerest wish is to continue in the enjoyment of it 
solely until my final hour. But the world would be neither 
so well instructed, nor so candidly disposed as to believe me 
uninfluenced by sinister motives in case any circumstance 
should render a deviation from the line of conduct I had 
prescribed to myself indispensable. 

"Should my unfeigned reluctance to accept the office be 
overcome by a deference for the reasons and opinions of my 
friends, might I not, after the declarations I have made (and 
Heaven knows they were made in the sincerity of my heart), 
in the judgment of the impartial world and of posterity, 
be chargeable with levity and inconsistency, if not with rash- 
ness and ambition? Nay, further, would there not be some 
apparent foundation for the two former charges? Now jus- 
tice to myself and tranquillity of conscience require that I 
should act a part, if not above imputation, at least capable 
of vindication. Nor will you conceive me to be too solicitous 
for reputation. Though I prize as I ought the good opinion 
of my fellow citizens, yet, if I know myself, I would not 

Cife of U/asl?ir><$to[> 105 

seek popularity at the expense of one social duty or moral 

4 'While doing what my conscience informed me was right 
as it respected my God, my country and myself, I should 
despise all the party clamor and unjust censure which must 
be expected from some whose personal enmity might be oc- 
casioned by their hostility to the government. I am con- 
scious that I fear alone to give any real occasion for obloquy, 
and that I do not dread to meet with unmerited reproach. 
And certain I am, whensoever I shall be convinced the good 
of my country requires my reputation to be put in risk, re- 
gard for my own fame will not come in competition with an 
object of so much magnitude. 

"If I declined the task, it would lie upon quite another 
principle. Notwithstanding my advanced season of life, my 
increasing fondness for agricultural amusements, and my 
growing love of retirement, augment and confirm my de- 
cided predilection for the character of a private citizen, yet it 
would be no one of these motives, nor the hazard to which 
my former reputation might be exposed, nor the terror of 
encountering new fatigues and troubles, that would deter 
me from an acceptance ; but a belief that some other person, 
who had less pretense and less inclination to be excused, 
could execute all the duties full as satisfactorily as myself." 

In a letter to Colonel Alexander Hamilton he writes : "In 
taking a survey of the subject, in whatever point of light I 
have been able to place it, I have always felt a kind of gloom 
upon my mind, as often as I have been taught to expect I 
might, and perhaps must ere long, be called upon to make a 
decision. You will, I am well assured, believe the assertion, 
though I have little expectation it would gain credit from 
those who are less acquainted with me, that, if I should 

106 U/or^s of U/asl?ir)<$toi) Irvir)$ 

receive the appointment, and if I should be prevailed 
upon to accept it, the acceptance would be attended with 
more diffidence and reluctance than ever I experienced 
before in my life. It would be, however, with a fixed and 
sole determination of lending whatever assistance might be 
in my power to promote the public weal, in hopes that, at a 
convenient and early period, my services might be dispensed 
with, and that I might be permitted once more to retire, to 
pass an unclouded evening, after the stormy day of life, in 
the bosom of domestic tranquillity." 

To Lafayette he declares that his difficulties increase and 
multiply as he draws toward the period when, according to 
common belief, it will be necessary for him to give a defini- 
tive answer as to the office in question. 

" Should circumstances render it in a manner inevitably 
necessary to be in the affirmative," writes he, "I shall as- 
sume the task with the most unfeigned reluctance and with 
a real diffidence, for which I shall probably receive no credit 
from the world. If I know my own heart, nothing short of 
a conviction of duty will induce me again to take an active 
part in public affairs; and, in that case, if I can form a plan 
for my own conduct, my endeavors shall be unremittingly 
exerted, even at the hazard of former fame or present popu- 
larity, to extricate my country from the embarrassments in 
which it is entangled through want of credit; and to estab- 
lish a general system of policy which if pursued will insure 
permanent felicity to the commonwealth. I think I see a 
path, clear and direct as a ray of light, which leads to the 
attainment of that object. Nothing but harmony, honesty, 
industry and frugality are necessary to make us a great and 
happy people. Happily the present posture of affairs, and 
the prevailing disposition of my countrymen, promise to co- 

Cife of U/as^ir^tor? 107 

operate in establishing those four great and essential pillars 
of public felicity." 

The election took place at the appointed time, and it was 
soon ascertained that Washington was chosen President for 
the term of four years from the 4th of March. By this time 
the arguments and entreaties of his friends and his own con- 
victions of public expediency had determined him to accept ; 
and he made preparations to depart for the seat of govern- 
ment as soon as he should receive official notice of his elec- 
tion. Among other duties he paid a visit to his mother at 
Fredericksburg; it was a painful because likely to be a final 
one, for she was afflicted with a malady which it was evi- 
dent must soon terminate her life. Their parting was affec- 
tionate but solemn ; she had always been reserved and mod- 
erate in expressing herself in regard to the successes of her 
son ; but it must have been a serene satisfaction at the close 
of her life to see him elevated by his virtues to the highest 
honor of his country. 

From a delay in forming a quorum of Congress the votes 
of the electoral college were not counted until early in April, 
when they were found to be unanimous in favor of "Wash- 
ington. "The delay," said he in a letter to General Knox, 
"may be compared to a reprieve; for in confidence I tell you 
(with the world it would obtain little credit) that my move- 
ments to the chair of government will be accompanied by 
feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the 
place of his execution ; so unwilling am I, in the evening of 
a life nearly consumed with public cares, to quit a peaceful 
abode for an ocean of difficulties, without that competency 
of political skill, abilities and inclination which are necessary 
to manage the helm. I am sensible that I am embarking 
the voice of the people and a good name of my own on this 

108 U/orKs of U/asl?io<$toi} Iruio<$ 

voyage ; but what returns will be made for them Heaven 
alone can foretell. Integrity and firmness are all I can 
promise. These, be the voyage long or short, shall never 
forsake me, although I may be deserted by all men ; for of 
the consolations which are to be derived from these, under 
any circumstances, the world cannot deprive me." 

At length, on the 14th of April, he received a letter from 
the President of Congress duly notifying him of his election; 
and he prepared to set out immediately for New York, the 
seat of government. An entry in his diary, dated the 16th, 
says: "About ten o'clock I bade adieu to Mount Vernon, to 
private life and to domestic felicity ; and with a mind op- 
pressed with more anxious and painful sensations than I 
have words to express, set out for New York with the best 
disposition to render service to my country in obedience to 
its call, but with less hope of answering its expectations." 

At the first stage of his journey a trial of his tenderest 
feelings awaited him in a public dinner given him at Alex- 
andria, by his neighbors and personal friends, among whom 
he had lived in the constant interchange of kind offices, and 
who were so aware of the practical beneficence of his private 
character. A deep feeling of regret mingled with their fes- 
tivity. The mayor, who presided, and spoke the sentiments 
of the people of Alexandria, deplored in his departure the 
loss of the first and best of their citizens, the ornament of 
the aged, the model of the young, the improver of their agri- 
culture, the friend of their commerce, the protector of their 
infant academy, the benefactor of their poor— -but "go," 
added he, "and make a grateful people happy, who will be 
doubly grateful when they contemplate this new sacrifice for 
their interests." 

Washington was too deeply affected for many words in 

Cife of U/asI?iQ^tor> 109 

reply. "Just after having bade adieu to my domestic con- 
nections," said he, "this tender proof of your friendship is 
but too well calculated to awaken still further my sensibil- 
ity, and increase my regret at parting from the enjoyments 
of private life. All that now remains for me is to commit 
myself and you to the care of that beneficent Being who, on 
a former occasion, happily brought us together after a long 
and distressing separation. Perhaps the same gracious 
Providence will again indulge me. But words fail me. 
Unutterable sensations must, then, be left to more expres- 
sive silence, while from an aching heart I bid all my affec- 
tionate friends and kind neighbors farewell!" 

His progress to the seat of government was a continual 
ovation. The ringing of bells and roaring of cannonry pro- 
claimed his course through the country. The old and young, 
women and children, thronged the highways to bless and 
welcome him. Deputations of the most respectable inhabi- 
tants from the principal places came forth to meet and escort 
him. At Baltimore, on his arrival and departure, his car- 
riage was attended by a numerous cavalcade of citizens, and 
he was saluted by the thunder of artillery. 

At the frontier of Pennsylvania he was met by his for- 
mer companion in arms, Mifflin, now governor of the State, 
who, with Judge Peters and a civil and military escort, was 
waiting to receive him. Washington had hoped to be spared 
all military parade, but found it was not to be evaded. At 
Chester, where he stopped to breakfast, there were prepara- 
tions for a public entry into Philadelphia. Cavalry had as- 
sembled from the surrounding country ; a superb white horse 
was led out for "Washington to mount, and a grand proces- 
sion set forward, with General St. Clair of revolutionary 
notoriety at its head. It gathered numbers as it advanced; 

110 U/orl^s of U/a8t?if)$toi) Iruir>$ 

passed under triumphal arches entwined with laurel, and 
entered Philadelphia amid the shouts of the multitude. 

A day of public festivity succeeded, ended by a display 
of fireworks. "Washington's reply to the congratulations of 
the mayor at a great civic banquet spoke the genuine feel- 
ings of his modest nature, amid these testimonials of a 
world's applause. "When I contemplate the interposition 
of Providence, as it was visibly manifested in guiding us 
through the Revolution, in preparing us for the reception of 
the general government, and in conciliating the good will of 
the people of America toward one another after its adoption, 
I feel myself oppressed and almost overwhelmed with a sense 
of divine munificence. I feel that nothing is due to my per- 
sonal agency in all those wonderful and complicated events, 
except what can be attributed to an honest zeal for the good 
of my country." 

We question whether any of these testimonials of a na- 
tion's gratitude affected Washington more sensibly than 
those he received at Trenton. It was on a sunny afternoon 
when he arrived on the banks of the Delaware, where, twelve 
years before, he had crossed in darkness and storm, through 
clouds of snow and drifts of floating ice, on his daring at- 
tempt to strike a blow at a triumphant enemy. 

Here at present all was peace and sunshine, the broad 
river flowed placidly along, and crowds awaited him on the 
opposite bank, to hail him with love and transport. 

We will not dwell on the joyous ceremonials with which 
he was welcomed, but there was one too peculiar to be 
omitted. The reader may remember Washington's gloomy 
night on the banks of the Assunpink, which flows through 
Trenton ; the camp fires of Cornwallis in front of him ; the 
Delaware full of floating ice in the rear; and his sudden re- 

Cife of U/a8l?ir}<$tor) 111 

solve on that midnight retreat which turned the fortunes of 
the campaign. On the bridge crossing that eventful stream 
the ladies of Trenton had caused a triumphal arch to be 
erected. It was entwined with evergreens and laurels, and 
bore the inscription, "The defender of the mothers will be 
the protector of the daughters." At this bridge the matrons 
of the city were assembled to pay him reverence ; and as he 
passed under the arch a number of young girls, dressed in 
white and crowned with garlands, strewed flowers before 
him, singing an ode expressive of their love and gratitude. 
Never was ovation more graceful, touching and sincere ; and 
Washington, tenderly affected, declared that the impression 
of it on his heart could never be effaced. 

His whole progress through New Jersey must have af- 
forded a similar contrast to his weary marchings to and fro, 
harassed by doubts and perplexities, with bale fires blazing 
on its hills instead of festive illuminations, and when the 
ringing of bells and booming of cannon, now so joyous, were 
the signals of invasion and maraud. In respect to his recep- 
tion in New York Washington had signified, in a letter to 
Governor Clinton, that none could be so congenial to his 
feelings as a quiet entry devoid of ceremony ; but his modest 
wishes were not complied with. At Elizabethtown Point a 
committee of both Houses of Congress, with various civic 
functionaries, waited by appointment to receive him. He 
embarked on board of a splendid barge constructed for the 
occasion. It was manned by thirteen branch pilots, masters 
of vessels, in white uniforms, and commanded by Commo- 
dore Nicholson. Other barges, fancifully decorated, fol- 
lowed, having on board the heads of departments and 
other public officers, and several distinguished citizens. 
As they passed through the strait between the Jerseys 

112 U/or^s of \JJas\)iT)$tOT) Irving 

and Staten Island, called the Kills, other boats decorated 
with flags fell in their wake, until the whole, forming a 
nautical procession, swept up the broad and beautiful bay of 
New York to the sound of instrumental music. On board 
of two vessels were parties of ladies and gentlemen who sang 
congratulatory odes as Washington's barge approached. 
The ships at anchor in the harbor, dressed in colors, fired 
salutes as it passed. One alone, the "Galveston," a Span- 
ish man-of-war, displayed no signs of gratulation until the 
barge of the general was nearly abreast ; when suddenly, as 
if by magic, the yards were manned, the ship burst forth, 
as it were, into a full array of flags and signals, and thun- 
dered a salute of thirteen guns. 

He approached the landing place of Murray's Wharf 
amid the ringing of bells, the roaring of cannonry and the 
shouting of multitudes collected on every pier-head. On 
landing he was received by Governor Clinton. General 
Knox, too, who had taken such an affectionate leave of 
him on his retirement from military life, was there to wel- 
come him in his civil capacity. Other of his fellow-soldiers 
of the Revolution were likewise there, mingled with the civic 
dignitaries. At this juncture an officer stepped up and re- 
quested Washington's orders, announcing himself as com- 
manding his guard. Washington desired him to proceed 
according to the directions he might have received in the 
present arrangements, but that for the future the affection 
of his fellow-citizens was all the guard he wanted. 

Carpets had been spread to a carriage prepared to convey 
liim to his destined residence, but he preferred to walk. He 
was attended by a long civil and military train. In the 
streets through which he passed the houses were decorated 
with flags, silken banners, garlands of flowers and ever- 

Cife of \JJas\)iT)$tQT) 113 

greens, and bore his name in every form of ornament. The 
streets were crowded with people, so that it was with diffi- 
culty a passage could be made by the city officers. "Wash- 
ington frequently bowed to the multitude as he passed, tak- 
ing off his hat to the ladies, who thronged every window, 
waving their handkerchiefs, throwing flowers before him, 
and many of them shedding tears of enthusiasm. 

That day he dined with his old friend, Governor Clinton, 
who had invited a numerous company of public functionaries 
and foreign diplomatists to meet him, and in the evening the 
city was brilliantly illuminated. 

Would the reader know the effect upon "Washington's 
mind at this triumphant entry into New York? It was to 
depress rather than to excite him. Modestly diffident of his 
abilities to cope with the new duties on which he was enter- 
ing, he was overwhelmed by what he regarded as proofs of 
public expectation. Noting in his diary the events of the 
day, he writes: "The display of boats which attended and 
joined us on this occasion, some with vocal and some with 
instrumental music on board; the decorations of the ships, 
the roar of cannon and the loud acclamations of the people 
which rent the skies, as I passed along the wharfs, filled 
my mind with sensations as painful (considering the reverse 
of this scene, which may be the case after all my labors to 
do good) as they are pleasing." 

The inauguration was delayed for several days, in which 
a question arose as to the form or title by which the Presi- 
dent-elect was to be addressed; and a committee in both 
Houses was appointed to report upon the subject. The 
question was started without Washington's privity and 
contrary to his desire; as he feared that any title might 
awaken the sensitive jealousy of republicans at a moment 

114 U/orl^s of Wa&tyqQtOT) Irvino; 

when it was all-important to conciliate public good will to 
the new form of government. It was a relief to him, there- 
fore, when it was finally resolved that the address should be 
simply, "the President of the United States," without any 
addition of title; a judicious form which has remained to the 
present day. 

The inauguration took place on the 30th of April. At 
nine o'clock in the morning there were religious services 
in all the churches, and prayers put up for the blessing of 
Heaven on the new government. At twelve o'clock the city 
troops paraded before "Washington's door, and soon after the 
committees of Congress and the heads of departments came 
in their carriages. At half -past twelve the procession moved 
forward, preceded by the troops; next came the committees 
and heads of departments in their carriages ; then Washing- 
ton in a coach of state, his aid-de-camp, Colonel Humphreys, 
and his secretary, Mr. Lear, in his own carriage. The for- 
eign ministers and a long train of citizens brought up the 

About two hundred yards before reaching the hall Wash- 
ington and his suite alighted from their carriages and passed 
through the troops, who were drawn up on each side, into 
the hall and senate chamber, where the Vice-President, the 
Senate, and House of Representatives were assembled. The 
Vice-President, John Adams, recently inaugurated, advanced 
and conducted Washington to a chair of state at the upper 
end of the room. A solemn silence prevailed; when the 
Vice-President rose and informed him that all things were 
prepared for him to take the oath of office required by the 

The oath was to be administered by the Chancellor of the 
State of New York, in a balcony in front of the Senate cham- 

Cffe of U/ast?io$tor; 115 

ber, and in full view of an immense multitude occupying the 
street, the windows and even roofs of the adjacent houses. 
The balcony formed a kind of open recess, with lofty col- 
umns supporting the roof. In the center was a table with 
a covering of crimson velvet, upon which lay a superbly 
bound Bible on a crimson velvet cushion. This was all the 
paraphernalia for the august scene. 

All eyes were fixed upon the balcony, when, at the 
appointed hour, Washington made his appearance, accom- 
panied by various public functionaries and members of the 
Senate and House of Representatives. 

He was clad in a full suit of dark-brown cloth, of Ameri- 
can manufacture, with a steel-hilted dress sword, white silk 
stockings and silver shoe-buckles. His hair was dressed and 
powdered in the fashion of the day, and worn in a bag and 

His entrance on the balcony was hailed by universal 
shouts. He was evidently moved by this demonstration 
of public affection. Advancing to the front of the bal- 
cony, he laid his hand upon his heart, bowed several times, 
and then retreated to an armchair near the table. The popu- 
lace appeared to understand that the scene had overcome 
him, and were hushed at once into a profound silence. 

After a few moments Washington rose and again came 
forward. John Adams, the Vice-President, stood on his 
right; on his left the Chancellor of the State, Robert R. 
Livingston; somewhat in the rear were Roger Sherman, 
Alexander Hamilton, Generals Knox, St. Clair, the Baron 
Steuben and others. 

The chancellor advanced to administer the oath pre- 
scribed by the constitution, and Mr. Otis,, the secretary 
of the Senate, held up the Bible on its crimson cushioD. 

116 U/ork^s of U/aslpir/^ton IruiQ<$ 

The oath was read slowly and distinctly; Washington at 
the same time laying his hand on the open Bible. When 
it was concluded he replied, solemnly, "I swear — so help me 
God!" Mr. Otis would have raised the Bible to his lips, but 
he bowed down reverently and kissed it. 

The chancellor now stepped forward, waved his hand and 
exclaimed, "Long live George Washington, President of the 
United States!" At this moment a flag was displayed on 
the cupola of the hall; on which signal there was a general 
discharge of artillery on the battery. All the bells in the 
city rang out a joyful peal, and the multitude rent the air 
with acclamations. 

Washington again bowed to the people and returned into 
the Senate chamber, where he delivered, to both Houses of 
Congress, his inaugural address, characterized by his usual 
modesty, moderation and good sense, but uttered with a 
voice deep, slightly tremulous, and so low as to demand 
close attention in the listeners. After this he proceeded with 
the whole assemblage on foot to St. Paul's Church, where 
prayers suited to the occasion were read by Dr. Prevost, 
Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in New York, 
who had been appointed by the Senate one of the chaplains 
of Congress. So closed the ceremonies of the inauguration. 

The whole day was one of sincere rejoicing, and in the 
evening there were brilliant illuminations and fireworks. 

We have been accustomed to look to Washington's pri- 
vate letters for the sentiments of his heart. Those written 
to several of his friends immediately after his inauguration 
show how little he was excited by his official elevation. "I 
greatly fear," writes he, "that my countrymen will expect 
too much of me. I fear, if the issue of public measures 
should not correspond with their sanguine expectations, they 

Cife of U/asl?ir}<$tor) 117 

will turn the extravagant, and I might almost say undue, 
praises which they are heaping upon me at this moment into 
equally extravagant, though I will fondly hope unmerited, 

Little was his modest spirit aware that the praises so du- 
biously received were but the opening notes of a theme that 
was to increase from age to age, to pervade all lands and 
endure throughout all generations. 

In the parts here concluded we have endeavored to nar- 
rate faithfully the career of Washington from childhood, 
through his early surveying expeditions in the wilderness, 
his diplomatic mission to the French posts on the frontier, 
his campaigns in the French war, his arduous trials as com- 
mander-in-chief throughout the Revolution, the noble sim- 
plicity of his life in retirement, until we have shown him 
elevated to the Presidential chair, by no effort of his own, 
in a manner against his wishes, by the unanimous vote of 
a grateful country. 

The plan of our work has necessarily carried us widely 
into the campaigns of the Revolution, even where "Washing- 
ton was not present in person ; for his spirit pervaded and 
directed the whole, and a general knowledge of the whole is 
necessary to appreciate the sagacity, forecast, enduring for- 
titude and comprehensive wisdom with which he conducted 
it. He himself has signified to one who aspired to write his 
biography that any memoirs of his life distinct and uncon- 
nected with the history of the war would be unsatisfactory. 
In treating of the Revolution, we have endeavored to do jus- 
tice to what we consider its most striking characteristic ; the 
greatness of the object and the scantiness of the means. We 

118 U/orl^s of Wa&\)iT)$tOT) Iruii)$ 

have endeavored to keep in view the prevailing poverty of 
resources, the scandalous neglects, the squalid miseries of all 
kinds with which its champions had to contend in their ex- 
peditions through trackless wildernesses or thinly peopled 
regions; beneath scorching suns or inclement skies; their 
wintry marches to be traced by bloody footprints on snow 
and ice; their desolate wintry encampments, rendered still 
more desolate by nakedness and famine. It was in the 
patience and fortitude with which these ills were sustained 
by a half- disciplined yeomanry, voluntary exiles from their 
homes, destitute of all the "pomp and circumstance" of 
war to excite them, and animated solely by their patriot- 
ism, that we read the noblest and most affecting character- 
istics of that great struggle for human rights. They do 
wrong to its moral grandeur who seek by commonplace ex- 
aggeration to give a melodramatic effect and false glare to 
its military operations, and to place its greatest triumphs in 
the conflicts of the field. Lafayette showed a true sense of 
the nature of the struggle when Napoleon, accustomed to 
effect ambitious purposes by hundreds of thousands of troops, 
and tens of thousands of slain, sneered at the scanty ar- 
mies of the American Revolution and its "boasted allies." 
"Sire," was the admirable and comprehensive reply, "it 
was the grandest of causes won by skirmishes of sentinels 
and outposts." 

In regard to the character and conduct of Washington, 
we have endeavored to place his deeds in the clearest light, 
and left them to speak for themselves, generally avoiding 
comment or eulogium. We have quoted his own words and 
writings largely, to explain his feelings and motives, and 
give the true key to his policy ; for never did a man leave 
a more truthful mirror of his heart and mind, and a more 

Cife of U/asi?ii}<$toi> 119 

thorough exponent of his conduct, than he has left in his 
copious correspondence. There his character is to be found 
in all its majestic simplicity, its massive grandeur, and quiet, 
colossal strength. He was no hero of romance; there was 
nothing of romantic heroism in his nature. As a warrior he 
was incapable of fear, but made no merit of defying danger. 
He fought for a cause, but not for personal renown. Gladly, 
when he had won the cause, he hung up his sword never 
again to take it down. Glory, that blatant word, which 
haunts some military minds like the bray of the trumpet, 
formed no part of his aspirations. To act justly was his 
instinct, to promote the public weal his constant effort, to 
deserve the { 'affections of good men" his ambition. With 
such qualifications for the pure exercise of sound judgment 
and comprehensive wisdom, he ascended the Presidential 

There for the present we leave him. So far our work is 
complete, comprehending the whole military life of Wash- 
ington, and his agency in public affairs up to the formation 
of our constitution. How well we have executed it we leave 
to the public to determine; hoping to find it, as heretofore, 
far more easily satisfied with the result of our labors than 
we are ourselves. Should the measure of health and good 
spirits with which a kind Providence has blessed us beyond 
the usual term of literary labor be still continued, we may 
go on, and, in another volume, give the Presidential career 
and closing life of Washington. In the meantime, having 
found a resting-place in our task, we stay our hands, lay by 
our pen, and seek that relaxation and repose which gathering 
years require. W. L 

Sunnyside, 1857. 

120 U/orKs of U/asf?ir}$tOQ Iruir)^ 



The present part completes a work to which the author 
had long looked forward as the crowning effort of his literary 

The idea of writing a life of Washington entered at an 
early day into his mind. It was especially pressed upon 
his attention nearly thirty years ago while he was in 
Europe, by a proposition of the late Mr. Archibald Con- 
stable, the eminent publisher of Edinburgh, and he resolved 
to undertake it as soon as he should return to the United 
States, and be within reach of the necessary documents. 
Various circumstances occurred to prevent him from carry- 
ing this resolution into prompt effect. It remained, how- 
ever, a cherished purpose of his heart, which he has at 
length, though somewhat tardily, accomplished. 

The manuscript for the present volume was nearly ready 
for the press some months since, but the author, by applying 
himself too closely in his eagerness to finish it, brought on 
a nervous indisposition, which unfitted him for a time for the 
irksome but indispensable task of revision. In this he has 
been kindly assisted by his nephew, Pierre Munro Irving, 
who had previously aided him in the course of his necessary 
researches, and who now carefully collated the manuscript 
with the works, letters, and inedited documents from which 
the facts had been derived. He has likewise had the kind- 
ness to superintend the printing of the volume, and the cor- 
rection of the proof sheets. Thus aided, the author is enabled 
to lay the volume before the public. 

Cife of U/asl?ii)<$tor) 121 

How far this, the last labor of his pen, may meet with 
general acceptation is with him a matter of hope rather than 
of confidence. He is conscious of his own shortcomings and 
of the splendid achievements of oratory of which the char- 
acter of "Washington has recently been made the theme. 
Grateful, however, for the kindly disposition which has 
greeted each successive volume, and with a profound sense 
of the indulgence he has experienced from the public through 
a long literary career, now extending through more than half 
a century, he resigns his last volume to its fate, with a feel- 
ing of satisfaction that he has at length reached the close of 
his task, and with the comforting assurance that it has been 
with him a labor of love, and as such to a certain degree 
carried with it its own reward. 

Washington Irving. 


The New Government — Domestic and Foreign Relations — Washing- 
ton's anxious Position — Its Difficulties — Without Cabinet or 
Constitutional Advisers — John Jay — Hamilton — His efficient 
Support of the Constitution and Theoretic Doubts — James 
Madison — Knox — His Characteristics 

The eyes of the world were upon Washington at the 

commencement of his administration. He had won laurels 

in the field; would they continue to flourish in the cabinet? 

His position was surrounded by difficulties. Inexperienced 

in the duties of civil administration, he was to inaugurate a 

new and untried system of government, composed of States 

and people, as yet a mere experiment, to which some looked 

forward with buoyant confidence — many with doubt and 


He had, moreover, a high-spirited people to manage, in 

Vol. XV.— * * *6 

122 U/or^s of U/as^ip^top Iruip^ 

whom a jealous passion for freedom and independence had 
been strengthened by war, and who might bear with impa- 
tience even the restraints of self-imposed government. The 
constitution which he was to inaugurate had met with ve- 
hement opposition when under discussion in the general and 
State governments. Only three States, New Jersey, Dela- 
ware and Georgia, had accepted it unanimously. Several 
of the most important States had adopted it by a mere ma- 
jority; five of them under an expressed expectation of speci- 
fied amendments or modifications; while two States, Rhode 
Island and North Carolina, still stood aloof. 

It is true, the irritation produced by the conflict of opin- 
ions in the general and State conventions had, in a great 
measure, subsided ; but circumstances might occur to inflame 
it anew. A diversity of opinions still existed concerning the 
new government. Some feared that it would have too little 
control over the individual States; that the political connec- 
tion would prove too weak to preserve order and prevent 
civil strife ; others that it would be too strong for their sepa- 
rate independence, and would tend toward consolidation and 

The very extent of the country he was called upon to 
govern, ten times larger than that of any previous republic, 
must have pressed with weight upon Washington's mind. 
It presented to the Atlantic a front of fifteen hundred miles, 
divided into individual States, differing in the forms of their 
local governments, differing from each other in interests, in 
territorial magnitudes, in amount of population, in manners, 
soils, climates and productions, and the characteristics of 
their several peoples. 

Beyond the Alleghanies extended regions almost bound- 
less, as yet for the most part wild and uncultivated, the 

Cife of U/as^iQ<$tor> 123 

asylum of roving Indians and restless, discontented white 
men. Vast tracts, however, were rapidly being peopled, 
and would soon be portioned into sections requiring local 
governments. The great natural outlet for the exportation 
of the products of this region of inexhaustible fertility was 
the Mississippi ; but Spain opposed a barrier to the free navi- 
gation of this river. Here was peculiar cause of solicitude. 
Before leaving Mount Vernon Washington had heard that the 
hardy yeomanry of the far West were becoming impatient 
of this barrier, and indignant at the apparent indifference 
of Congress to their prayers for its removal. He had heard, 
moreover, that British emissaries were fostering these dis- 
contents, sowing the seeds of disaffection, and offering assist- 
ance to the "Western people to seize on the city of New 
Orleans and fortify the mouth of the Mississippi; while, 
on the other hand, the Spanish authorities at New Orleans 
were represented as intriguing to effect a separation of the 
Western territory from the Union, with a view or hope of 
attaching it to the dominion of Spain. 

Great Britain, too, was giving grounds for territorial 
solicitude in these distant quarters by retaining possession 
of the Western posts, the surrender of which had been 
stipulated by treaty. Her plea was that debts due to British 
subjects, for which by the same treaty the United States 
were bound, remained unpaid. This, the Americans alleged, 
was a mere pretext ; the real object of their retention being 
the monopoly of the fur trade ; and to the mischievous influ- 
ence exercised by these posts over the Indian tribes was 
attributed much of the hostile disposition manifested by the 
latter along the Western frontier. 

While these brooding causes of anxiety existed at home 
the foreign commerce of the Union was on a most unsatis- 

±24: U/or^s of U/asbio^toi) Irvip$ 

factory footing, and required prompt and thorough attention. 
It was subject to maraud, even by the corsairs of Algiers, 
Tunis and Tripoli, who captured American merchant vessels 
and carried their crews into slavery ; no treaty having yet 
been made with any of the Barbary powers excepting 

To complete the perplexities which beset the new govern- 
ment the finances of the country were in a lamentable state. 
There was no money in the treasury. The efforts of the 
former government to pay or fund its debts had failed ; there 
was a universal state of indebtedness, foreign and domestic, 
and public credit was prostrate. 

Such was the condition of affairs when Washington en- 
tered upon his new field of action. He was painfully aware 
of the difficulties and dangers of an undertaking in which 
past history and past experience afforded no precedents. "I 
walk, as it were, on untrodden ground," said he; "so many 
untoward circumstances may intervene in such a new and 
critical situation that I shall feel an insuperable diffi- 
dence in my own abilities. 1 feel, in the execution of my 
arduous office, how much I shall stand in need of the 
countenance and aid of every friend to myself, of every 
friend to the Revolution, and of every lover of good 
government." * 

As yet he was without the support of constitutional ad- 
visers, the departments under the new government not being 
organized; he could turn with confidence, however, for 
counsel in an emergency to John Jay, who still remained 
at the head of affairs, where he had been placed in 1784. He 
was sure of sympathy also in his old comrade, General Knox, 

* Letter to Edward Rutledge. 

Cife of U/asl?i9<$toi> 125 

who continued to officiate as Secretary of War 5 while the 
affairs of the treasury were managed by a board, consisting 
of Samuel Osgood, Walter Livingston and Arthur Lee. 
Among the personal friends not in office, to whom Wash- 
ington felt that he could safely have recourse for aid in 
initiating the new government, was Alexander Hamilton. 
It is true many had their doubts of his sincere adhesion to 
it. In the convention in Philadelphia he had held up the 
British constitution as a model to be approached, as nearly 
as possible, by blending some of the advantages of monarchy 
with the republican form. The form finally adopted was 
too low toned for him ; he feared it might prove feeble and 
inefficient; but he voted for it as the best attainable, advo- 
cated it in the State convention in New York, and in a series 
of essays, collectively known as the "Federalist," written 
conjunctively with Madison and Jay; and it was mainly 
through his efforts as a speaker and a writer that the con- 
stitution was ultimately accepted. Still many considered 
him at heart a monarchist, and suspected him of being 
secretly bent upon bringing the existing government to the 
monarchial form. 

In this they did him injustice. He still continued, it 
is true, to doubt whether the republican theory would 
admit of a vigorous execution of the laws, but was clear 
that it ought to be adhered to as long as there was any 
chance for its success. "The idea of a perfect equality of 
political rights among the citizens, exclusive of all permanent 
or hereditary distinctions," had not hitherto, he thought, 
from an imperfect structure of the government, had a fair 
trial, and "was of a nature to engage the good wishes of 
every good man, whatever might be his theoretic doubts;" 
the endeavor, therefore, in his opinion, ought to be to give 

126 Worlds of U/asl?ii}$toi) Iruip$ 

it "a better chance of success by a government more capable 
of energy and order." * 

Washington, who knew and appreciated Hamilton's char- 
acter, had implicit confidence in his sincerity, and felt assured 
that he would loyally aid in carrying into effect the constitu- 
tion as adopted. 

It was a great satisfaction to Washington, on looking 
round for reliable advisers at this moment, to see James 
Madison among the members of Congress — Madison, who 
had been with him in the convention, who bad labored in 
the "Federalist," and whose talents as a speaker and calm, 
dispassionate reasoner, whose extensive information and 
legislative experience, destined him to be a leader in the 
House. Highly appreciating his intellectual and mortal 
worth, Washington would often turn to him for counsel. 
"I am troublesome," would he say, "but you must excuse 
me; ascribe it to friendship and confidence." 

Knox, of whose sure sympathies we have spoken, was 
in strong contrast with the cool statesman just mentioned. 
His mind was ardent and active, his imagination vivid, as 
was his language. He had abandoned the military garb, 
but still maintained his soldier-like air. He was large in 
person, above the middle stature, with a full face, radiant 
and benignant, bespeaking his open, buoyant, generous 
nature. He had a sonorous voice, and sometimes talked 
rather grandly, flourishing his cane to give effect to his 
periods, t He was cordially appreciated by Washington, 
who had experienced his prompt and efficient talent in time 
of war, had considered him one of the ablest officers of the 

* Hamilton's Writings, iv. 273. 

t See Sullivan's Letters on Public Characters, p. 84. 

Cife of U/asl?ii)$toi} 127 

Revolution, and now looked to him as an energetic man 
of business, capable of giving practical advice in time of 
peace, and cherished for him that strong feeling of ancient 
companionship in toil and danger which bound the veterans 
of the Revolution firmly to each other. 


Washington's Privacy beset with Visits of Compliment — Queries as 
to the proper Line of Conduct in his Presidential Intercourse — 
Opinions of Adams and Hamilton — Jefferson as to the Authors 
of the Minor Forms and Ceremonies — His whimsical Anecdote 
of the first Levee — Inaugural Ball 

The moment the inauguration was over, Washington 
was made to perceive that he was no longer master of him- 
self or of his home. "By the time I had done breakfast," 
writes he, "and thence till dinner, and afterward till bed- 
time, 1 could not get rid of the ceremony of one visit before 
I had to attend to another. In a word, I had no leisure to 
read or to answer the dispatches that were pouring in upon 
me from all quarters.' ' 

How was he to be protected from these intrusions? In 
his former capacity as commander-in-chief of the armies his 
headquarters had been guarded by sentinels and military 
etiquette ; but what was to guard the privacy of a popular 
chief magistrate? 

What, too, were to be the forms and ceremonials to be 
adopted in the presidential mansion that would maintain 
the dignity of his station, allow him time for the perform- 
ance of its official duties, and yet be in harmony with the 

128 U/orKs of U/asl?ir)<$toi) Iruir?^ 

temper and feelings of the people and the prevalent notions 
of equality and republican simplicity? 

The conflict of opinions that had already occurred as to 
the form and title by which the President was to be addressed 
had made him aware that every step at the outset of his 
career would be subject to scrutiny, perhaps cavil, and might 
hereafter be cited as a precedent. Looking around, there- 
fore, upon the able men at hand, such as Adams, Hamilton, 
Jay, Madison, he propounded to them a series of questions 
as to a line of conduct proper for him to observe. 

In regard to visitors, for instance, would not one day 
in the week be sufficient for visits of compliment, and one 
hour every morning (at eight o'clock, for example) for visits 
on business? 

Might he make social visits to acquaintances and public 
characters, not as President, but as private individual? And 
then as to his table — under the preceding form of govern- 
ment the presidents of Congress had been accustomed to 
give dinners twice a week to large parties of both sexes, and 
invitations had been so indiscriminate that every one who 
could get introduced to the president conceived he had a 
right to be invited to his board. The table was, therefore, 
always crowded, and with a mixed company ; yet, as it was 
in the nature of things impracticable to invite everybody, 
as many offenses were given as if no table had been kept. 

Washington was resolved not to give general entertain- 
ments of this kind, but in his series of questions he asked 
whether he might not invite, informally or otherwise, six, 
eight or ten official characters, including in rotation the 
members of both Houses of Congress, to dine with him 
on the days fixed for receiving company without exciting 
clamors in the rest of the community. 

Cife of U/asl?i9<?tor) 129 

Adams, in his reply, talked of chamberlains, aides-de- 
camp, masters of ceremony, and evinced a high idea of the 
presidential office and the state with which it ought to be 
maintained. "The office," writes he, "by its legal authority 
denned in the constitution has no equal in the world except- 
ing those only which are held by crowned heads ; nor is the 
royal authority in all cases to be compared to it. The royal 
office in Poland is a mere shadow in comparison with it. 
The Dogeship in Venice, and the Stadtholdership in Holland 
are not so much — neither dignity nor authority can be sup- 
ported in human minds, collected into nations or any great 
numbers, without a splendor and majesty in some degree 
proportioned to them. The sending and receiving embas- 
sadors is one of the most splendid and important prerogatives 
of sovereigns, absolute or limited, and this in our constitution 
is wholly in the President. If the state and pomp essential 
to this great department are not in a good degree preserved, 
it will be in vain for America to hope for consideration with 
foreign powers." * 

According to Mr. Adams, two days in a week would be 
required for the receipt of visits of compliment. Persons 
desiring an interview with the President should make appli- 
cation through the Minister of State. In every case the 
name, quality or business of the visitor should be communi- 
cated to a chamberlain or gentleman in waiting, who should 
judge whom to admit and whom to exclude. The time for 
receiving visits ought to be limited, as, for example, from 
eight to nine or ten o'clock, lest the whole morning be taken 
up. The President might invite what official character, 
members of Congress, strangers or citizens of distinction 

* Life and Works of John Adams, vol. viii., p. 493. 

130 U/or^8 of U/asl?ir)$toi) Iruip$ 

he pleased, in small parties without exciting clamors; but 
this should always be done without formality. His private 
life should be at his own discretion, as to giving or receiving 
informal visits among friends and acquaintances; but in his 
official character he should have no intercourse with society 
but upon public business, or at his levees. Adams, in the 
conclusion of his reply, ingenuously confessed that his long 
residence abroad might have impressed him with views of 
things incompatible with the present temper and feelings 
of his fellow- citizens; and Jefferson seems to have been 
heartily of the same opinion, for speaking of Adams in his 
"Anas," he observes that "the glare of royalty and nobility, 
during his mission to England, had made him believe their 
fascination a necessary ingredient in government." * Ham- 
ilton, in his reply, while he considered it a primary object 
for the public good that the dignity of the presidential office 
should be supported, advised that care should be taken to 
avoid so high a tone in the demeanor of the occupant as 
to shock the prevalent notions of equality. 

The President, he thought, should hold a levee at a fixed 
time once a week, remain half an hour, converse cursorily 
on different subjects with such persons as invited his atten- 
tion, and then retire. 

He should accept no invitations, give formal entertain- 
ments twice, or at most four times in the year; if twice, on 
the anniversaries of the Declaration of Independence and 
of his inauguration; if four times, the anniversary of the 
treaty of alliance with France and that of the definitive 
treaty with Great Britain to be added. 

The President on levee days to give informal invitations 

* Jefferson's Works, ix. 97. 

Cife of U/a8f?iQ<$tor> 131 

to family dinners ; not more than six or eight to be asked 
at a time, and the civility to be confined essentially to mem- 
bers of the legislature, and other official characters — the 
President never to remain long at table. 

The heads of departments should, of course, have access 
to the President on business. Foreign ministers of some 
descriptions should also be entitled to it. "In Europe, 1 am 
informed/' writes Hamilton, "embassadors only have direct 
access to the chief magistrate. Something very near what 
prevails there would, in my opinion, be right. The distinc- 
tion of rank between diplomatic characters requires attention, 
and the door of access ought not to be too wide to that class 
of persons. I have thought that the members of the Senate 
should also have a right of individual access on matters 
relative to the public administration. In England and 
France peers of the realm have this right. We have none 
such in this country, but I believe it will be satisfactory to 
the people to know that there is some body of men in the 
state who have a right of continual communication with 
the President. It will be considered a safeguard against 
secret combinations to deceive him." * 

The reason alleged by Hamilton for giving the Senate' 
this privilege, and not the Representatives, was, that in the 
constitution "the Senate are coupled with the President in 
certain executive functions, treaties and appointments. This 
makes them in a degree his constitutional counselors, and 
gives them a peculiar claim to the right of access." 

These are the only written replies that we have before 
us of "Washington's advisers on this subject. 

Colonel Humphreys, formerly one of Washington's aides- 

* Hamilton's Works, vol. iv., p. 3. 

132 U/or^g of Wa&tyrtqtor) lruir}<$ 

de-camp, and recently secretary of Jefferson's legation at 
Paris, was at present an inmate in the presidential mansion. 
General Knox was frequently there; to these Jefferson 
assures us, on Washington's authority, was assigned the 
task of considering and prescribing the minor forms and 
ceremonies, the etiquette, in fact, to be observed on public 
occasions. Some of the forms proposed by them, he adds, 
were adopted. Others were so highly strained that Wash- 
ington absolutely rejected them. Knox was no favorite with 
Jefferson, who had no sympathies with the veteran soldier, 
and styles him "a man of parade," and Humphreys he 
appears to think captivated by the ceremonials of foreign 
courts. He gives a whimsical account, which he had at 
second or third hand, of the first levee. An ante-chamber 
and presence- room were provided, and when those who were 
to pay their court were assembled the President set out, 
preceded by Humphreys. After passing through the ante- 
chamber the door of the inner room was thrown open, 
and Humphreys entered first, calling out with a loud voice, 
" The President of the United States." The President was 
so much disconcerted with it that he did not recover in the 
whole time of the levee, and, when the company were gone, 
he said to Humphreys, ""Well, you have taken me in once, 
but, by , you shall never take me in a • second time. " 

This anecdote is to be taken with caution, for Jefferson 
was disposed to receive any report that placed the forms 
adopted in a disparaging point of view. 

He gives in his Ana a still more whimsical account on 
the authority of "a Mr. Brown," of the ceremonials at an 
inauguration ball at which Washington and Mrs. Washing- 
ton presided in almost regal style. As it has been proved 
to be entirely incorrect, we have not deemed it worthy an 

Cife of U/asl?iQ<$toi) 133 

insertion. A splendid ball was in fact given at the Assembly 
Rooms, and another by the French Minister, the Count de 
Moustier, at both of which Washington was present and 
danced; but Mrs. Washington was not at either of them, 
not being yet arrived, and on neither occasion were any 
mock regal ceremonies observed. Washington was the last 
man that would have tolerated anything of the kind. Our 
next chapter will show the almost casual manner in which 
the simple formalities of his republican court originated. 


Journey of Mrs. Washington to New York — Honors paid her in 
her Progress — Receptions at the Seat of Government — The 
President's Equipage 

On the 17th of May, Mrs. Washington, accompanied by 
her grandchildren, Eleanor Custis and George Washington 
Parke Custis, set out from Mount Vernon in her traveling 
carriage with a small escort of horse, to join her husband 
at the seat of government, as she had been accustomed to 
join him at headquarters in the intervals of his revolutionary 

Throughout the journey she was greeted with public 
testimonials of respect and affection. As she approached 
Philadelphia the President of Pennsylvania and other of the 
State functionaries, with a number of the principal inhabi- 
tants of both sexes, came forth to meet her, and she was 
attended into the city by a numerous cavalcade, and wel- 
comed with the ringing of bells and firing of cannon. 

Similar honors were paid her in her progress through 

134 U/or^s of U/a8l?ip^top Iruip$ 

New Jersey. At Elizabethtown she alighted at the resi- 
dence of Governor Livingston, whither Washington came 
from New York to meet her. They proceeded thence by 
water, in the same splendid barge in which the general had 
been conveyed for his inauguration. It was manned, as on 
that occasion, by thirteen master pilots, arrayed in white, 
and had several persons of note on board. There was a 
salute of thirteen guns as the barge passed the Battery at 
New York. The landing took place at Peck Slip, not far 
from the presidential residence, amid the enthusiastic cheers 
of an immense multitude. 

On the following day, Washington gave a demi-official 
dinner, of which Mr. Wingate, a Senator from New Hamp- 
shire, who was present, writes as follows: "The guests con- 
sisted of the Vice-President, the foreign ministers, the heads 
of departments, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, 
and the Senators from New Hampshire and Georgia, the 
then most Northern and Southern States. It was the least 
showy dinner that I ever saw at the President's table, and 
the company was not large. As there was no chaplain pres- 
ent, the President himself said a very short grace as he was 
sitting down. After dinner and dessert were finished, one 
glass of wine was passed around the table, and no toast. 
The President rose, and all the company retired to the draw- 
ing-room, from which the guests departed, as every one 
chose, without ceremony." 

On the evening of the following day (Friday, May 29th), 
Mrs. Washington had a general reception, which was at- 
tended by all that was distinguished in official and fashion- 
able society. Henceforward there were similar receptions 
every Friday evening, from eight to ten o'clock, to which 
the families of all persons of respectability, native or foreign, 

Cife of U/asI?iQ«$tor? 135 

had access, without special invitation; and at which the 
President was always present. These assemblages were as 
free from ostentation and restraint as the ordinary receptions 
of polite society ; yet the reader will find they were soon sub- 
ject to invidious misrepresentation, and caviled at as "court- 
like levees" and "queeDly drawing-rooms." 

Besides these public receptions, the presidential family 
had its private circle of social intimacy; the President, more- 
over, was always ready to receive visits by appointment on 
public or private business. 

The sanctity and quiet of Sunday were strictly observed 
by Washington. He attended church in the morning, and 
passed the afternoon alone in his closet. No visitors were 
admitted, excepting, perhaps, an intimate friend in the even- 
ing, which was spent by him in the bosom of his family. 

The household establishment was conducted on an ample 
and dignified scale, but without ostentation, and regulated 
with characteristic system and exactness. Samuel Fraunces, 
once landlord of the city tavern in Broad Street, where 
Washington took leave of the officers of the army in 1783, 
was now steward of the presidential household. He was 
required to render a weekly statement of receipts and ex- 
penditures, and warned to guard against waste and extrava- 
gance. "We are happy to inform our readers," says Fen- 
no's Gazette of the day, "that the President is determined 
to pursue that system of regularity and economy in his 
household which has always marked his public and private 

In regard to the deportment of Washington at this junc- 
ture, we have been informed by one who had opportunities 
of seeing him that he still retained a military air of command 
which had become habitual to him. At levees and drawing- 

136 H/or^s of U/asfyiQ^tor) Irvine; 

rooms he sometimes appeared cold and distant, but this was 
attributed by those who best knew him to the novelty of his 
position and his innate diffidence, which seemed to increase 
with the light which his renown shed about him. Though 
reserved at times, his reserve had nothing repulsive in it, 
and in social intercourse, where he was no longer under the 
eye of critical supervision, soon gave way to soldier- like 
frankness and cordiality. At all times his courtesy was 
genuine and benignant, and totally free from that stately 
condescension sometimes mistaken for politeness. Nothing, 
we are told, could surpass the noble grace with which he 
presided at a ceremonial dinner; kindly attentive to all his 
guests, but particularly attentive to put those at their ease 
and in a favorable light who appeared to be most diffident. 

As to Mrs. Washington, those who really knew her at 
the time speak of her as free from pretension or affectation, 
undazzled by her position, and discharging its duties with 
the truthful simplicity and real good-breeding of one accus- 
tomed to preside over a hospitable mansion in the "Ancient 
Dominion." She had her husband's predilection for private 

In a letter to an intimate she writes: "It is owing to the 
kindness of our numerous friends in all quarters that my 
new and unwished-for situation is not indeed a burden to 
me. When I was much younger, I should probably have 
enjoyed the innocent gayeties of life as much as most persons 
of my age ; but I had long since placed all the prospects of 
my future worldly happiness in the still enjoyments of the 
fireside at Mount Vernon. 

"I little thought, when the war was finished, that any 
circumstances could possibly happen which would call the 
general into public life again. I had anticipated that from 

Cife of U/a8f?iQ<$tor) 137 

that moment we should be suffered to grow old together in 
solitude and tranquillity. That was the first and dearest 
wish of my heart." * 

Much has been said of Washington's equipages, when 
at New York, and of his having four, and sometimes six 
horses before his carriage, with servants and outriders in 
rich livery. Such style, we would premise, was usual at 
the time both in England and the colonies, and had been 
occasionally maintained by the Continental dignitaries and 
by governors of the several States prior to the adoption of 
the new constitution. It was still prevalent, we are told, 
among the wealthy planters of the South, and sometimes 
adopted by " merchant princes" and rich individuals at the 
North. It does not appear, however, that Washington ever 
indulged in it through ostentation. When he repaired to 
the Hall of Congress, at his inauguration, he was drawn 
by a single pair of horses in a chariot presented for the occa- 
sion, on the panels of which were emblazoned the arms of 
the United States. 

Besides this modest equipage there was the ample family 
carriage which had been brought from Virginia. To this 
four horses were put when the family drove out into the 
country, the state of the roads in those days requiring it. 
For the same reason six horses were put to the same vehicle 
on journeys, and once on a state occasion. If there was 
anything he was likely to take a pride in, it was horses; he 
was passionately fond of that noble animal, and mention is 
occasionally made of four white horses of great beauty which 
he owned while in New York, f His favorite exercise, when 

* Quoted in a note to Sparks, p. 422. 
t For some of these particulars concerning Washington 
we are indebted to the late William A. Duer, president of 

138 U/or^s of ll/as^ir^tor? Irvip$ 

the weather permitted it, was on horseback, accompanied by 
one or more of the members of his household, and he was 
noted always for being admirably mounted and one of the 
best horsemen of his day. 


Alarming Illness of the President — The Senate rejects one of his 
Nominations— His sensitive Vindication of it — Death of his 
Mother— Her Character— The Executive Departments insti- 
tuted — Selection of Officers for the Treasury and War De- 
partments — Hamilton instructed to report a Financial Plan at 
the next Session of Congress — Arrangement of the Judiciary 
Department — Edmund Randolph — Adjournment of Congress — 
Its Character, by Fisher Ames 

As soon as "Washington could command sufficient leisure 
to inspect papers and documents, he called unofficially upon 
the heads of departments to furnish him with such reports in 
writing as would aid him in gaining a distinct idea of the 
state of public affairs. For this purpose also he had recourse 
to the public archives, and proceeded to make notes of the 
foreign official correspondence from the close of the war un- 
til his inauguration. He was interrupted in his task by a 
virulent attack of anthrax, which for several days threat- 
Columbia College, who in his boyhood was frequently in the 
President's house, playmate of young Custis, Mrs. Washing- 
ton's grandson. 

Washington's Residences in New York. — The first Presi- 
dential residence was at the junction of Pearl and Cherry 
Streets, Franklin Square. At the end of about a year, the 
President removed to the house on the west side of Broad- 
way, near Rector Street, afterward known as Bunker's Man- 
sion House. Both of these buildings have disappeared, in 
the course of "modern improvements." 

Cife of U/asl?ir}$tor) 139 

ened mortification. The knowledge of his perilous condition 
spread alarm through the community; he, however, re- 
mained unagitated. His medical adviser was Dr. Samuel 
Bard, of New York, an excellent physician and most esti- 
mable man, who attended him with unremitting assiduity. 

Being alone one day with the doctor, Washington re- 
garded him steadily, and asked his candid opinion as to the 
probable result of his case. "Do not flatter me with vain 
hopes," said he, with placid firmness; "I am not afraid to 
die, and therefore can bear the worst." The doctor ex- 
pressed hope, but owned that he had apprehensions. 
"Whether to-night or twenty years hence makes no dif- 
ference," observed Washington. "1 know that I am in the 
hands of a good Providence." His sufferings were intense 
and his recovery was slow. For six weeks he was obliged 
to lie on his right side ; but after a time he had his carriage 
so contrived that he could extend himself at full length in it 
and take exercise in the open air. 

While rendered morbidly sensitive by bodily pain, he 
suffered deep annoyance from having one of his earliest 
nominations, that of Benjamin Fishburn, for the place of 
naval officer of the port of Savannah, rejected by the 

If there was anything in which Washington was scrupu- 
lously conscientious, it was in the exercise of the nominating 
power ; scrutinizing the fitness of candidates ; their compara- 
tive claims on account of public services and sacrifices, and 
with regard to the equable distribution of offices among the 
States ; in all which he governed himself solely by consid- 
erations for the public good. He was especially scrupulous 
where his own friends and connections were concerned. "So 
far as I know my own mind, ' ' would he say, * ' I would not 

140 U/or^s of U/asr;in$toi) Irvii)$ 

be in the remotest degree influenced in making nominations 
by motives arising from the ties of family or blood." 

He was principally hurt in the present instance by the 
want of deference on the part of the Senate in assigning no 
reason for rejecting his nomination of Mr. Fishburn. He 
acquiesced, however, in the rejection, and forthwith sent in 
the name of another candidate ; but at the same time admin- 
istered a temperate and dignified rebuke. "Whatever may 
have been the reasons which induced your dissent, ' ' writes 
he to the Senate, "I am persuaded that they were such as 
you deemed sufficient. Permit me to submit to your consid- 
eration, whether, on occasions where the propriety of nomi- 
nations appears questionable to you, it would not be expedi- 
ent to communicate that circumstance to me, and thereby 
avail yourselves of the information which led me to make 
them, and which I would with pleasure lay before you. 
Probably my reasons for nominating Mr. Fishburn may 
tend to show that such a mode of proceeding, in such cases, 
might be useful. I will therefore detail them." 

He then proceeds to state that Colonel Fishburn had 
served under his own eye with reputation as an officer and a 
gentleman; had distinguished himself at the storming of 
Stony Point; had repeatedly been elected to the Assembly 
of Georgia as a representative from Chatham County, in 
which Savannah was situated; had been elected by the 
officers of the militia of that county lieutenant-colonel of 
the militia of the district ; had been member of the Execu- 
tive Council of the State, and president of the same; had 
been appointed by the council to an office which he actually 
held, in the port of Savannah, nearly similar to that for 
which Washington had nominated him. 

"It appeared, therefore, to me," adds Washington, "that 

Cife of U/a8t?ii}$tor> 141 

Mr. Fishburn must have enjoyed the confidence of the mi- 
litia officers in order to have been elected to a military rank 
— the confidence of the freemen to have been elected to the 
Assembly — the confidence of the Assembly to have been 
selected for the Council, and the confidence of the Council 
to have been appointed collector of the port of Savannah.' ' 

We give this letter in some detail, as relating to the only 
instance in which a nomination by Washington was rejected. 
The reasons of the Senate for rejecting it do not appear. 
They seem to have felt his rebuke, for the nomination last 
made by him was instantly confirmed. 

While yet in a state of convalescence, Washington re- 
ceived intelligence of the death of his mother. The event, 
which took place at Fredericksburg in Virginia, on the 25th 
of August, was not unexpected; she was eighty- two years 
of age, and had for some time been sinking under an incur- 
able malady, so that when he last parted with her he had 
apprehended that it was a final separation. Still he was 
deeply affected by the intelligence ; consoling himself, how- 
ever, with the reflection that "Heaven had spared her to an 
age beyond which few attain ; had favored her with the full 
enjoyment of her mental faculties, and as much bodily health 
as usually falls to the lot of fourscore.' ' 

Mrs. Mary Washington is represented as a woman of 
strong plain sense, strict integrity, and an inflexible spirit 
of command. We have mentioned the exemplary manner 
in which she, a lone widow, had trained her little flock in 
their childhood. The deference for her, then instilled into 
their minds, continued throughout life, and was manifested 
by Washington when at the height of his power and reputa 
tion. Eminently practical, she had thwarted his military 
aspirings when he was about to seek honor in the British 

142 U/orKs of U/a8l?ip^toi> Iruipo; 

navy. During his early and disastrous campaigns on the 
frontier she would often shake her head and exclaim, "Ah, 
George had better have stayed at home and cultivated his 
farm." Even his ultimate success and renown had never 
dazzled, however much they may have gratified her, When 
others congratulated her, and were enthusiastic in his praise, 
she listened in silence, and would temperately reply that he 
had been a good son, and she believed he had done his duty 
as a man. 

Hitherto the new government had not been properly or- 
ganized, but its several duties had been performed by the 
officers who had them in charge at the time of Washington's 
inauguration. It was not until the 10th of September that 
laws were passed instituting a department of Foreign Affairs 
(afterward termed Department of State), a Treasury Depart- 
ment, and a Department of War, and fixing their respective 
salaries. On the following day, Washington nominated 
General Knox to the Department of War, the duties of 
which that officer had hitherto discharged. 

The post of Secretary of the Treasury was one of far 
greater importance at the present moment. It was a time 
of financial exigency. As yet no statistical account of 
the country had been attempted; its fiscal resources were 
wholly unknown; its credit was almost annihilated, for it 
was obliged to borrow money even to pay the interest of 
its debts. 

We have already quoted the language held by Washing- 
ton in regard to this state of things before he had assumed 
the direction of affairs. "My endeavors shall be unremit- 
tingly exerted, even at the hazard of former fame or present 
popularity, to extricate my country from the embarrassments 
in which it is entangled through want of credit." 

Cife of U/as^iQ($toi> 143 

Under all these circumstances, and to carry out these 
views, he needed an able and zealous coadjutor in the Treas- 
ury Department; one equally solicitous with himself on the 
points in question, and more prepared upon them by finan- 
cial studies and investigations than he could pretend to be. 
Such a person he considered Alexander Hamilton, whom he 
nominated as Secretary of the Treasury, and whose qualifi- 
cations for the office were so well understood by the Senate 
that his nomination was confirmed on the same day on which 
it was made. 

Within a few days after Hamilton's appointment the 
House of Representatives (Sept. 21), acting upon the policy 
so ardently desired by "Washington, passed a resolution de- 
claring their opinion of the high importance to the honor 
and prosperity of the United States that an adequate provis- 
ion should be made for the support of public credit ; and in- 
structing the Secretary of the Treasury to prepare a plan for 
the purpose and report it at their next session. 

The arrangement of the Judicial Department was one of 
Washington's earliest cares. On the 27th of September he 
wrote unofficially to Edmund Randolph, of Virginia, inform- 
ing him that he had nominated him Attorney-general of the 
United States, and would be highly gratified with his accept- 
ance of that office. Some old recollections of the camp and 
of the early days of the Revolution may have been at the 
bottom of this good-will, for Randolph had joined the army 
at Cambridge, in 1775, and acted for a time as aid-de-camp 
to Washington in place of Mifflin. He had since gained ex- 
perience in legislative business as member of Congress, from 
1779 to 1782, Governor of Virginia in 1786, and delegate to 
the convention in 1787. In the discussions of that celebrated 
body he had been opposed to a single executive, professing to 

144 U/orKs of Waztyqqtor) Iruio$ 

discern in the unity of that power the " foetus of monarchy"; 
and preferring an executive consisting of three ; whereas, in 
the opinion of others, this plural executive would be "a kind 
of Cerberus with three heads." Like Madison, he had dis- 
approved of the equality of suffrage in the Senate, and been, 
moreover, of opinion that the President should be ineligible 
to office after a given number of years. 

Dissatisfied with some of the provisions of the constitu- 
tion as adopted, he had refused to sign it ; but had afterward 
supported it in the State convention of Virginia. As we rec- 
ollect him many years afterward, his appearance and ad- 
dress were dignified and prepossessing; he had an expressive 
countenance, a beaming eye, and somewhat of the ore ro- 
tundo in speaking. Randolph promptly accepted the nomi- 
nation, but did not take his seat in the cabinet until some 
months after Knox and Hamilton. 

By the judicial system established for the Federal gov- 
ernment, the Supreme Court of the United States was to be 
composed of a chief -justice and five associate judges. There 
were to be district courts with a judge in each State, and cir- 
cuit courts held by an associate judge and a district judge. 
John Jay, of New York, received the appointment of Chief- 
justice, and in a letter inclosing his commission, Washing- 
ton expressed the singular pleasure he felt in addressing him 
"as the head of that department which must be considered 
as the keystone of our political fabric." 

Jay's associate judges were John Rutledge of South 
Carolina, James Wilson of Pennsylvania, William Cushing 
of Massachusetts, John Blair of Virginia, and James Iredell 
of North Carolina. Washington had originally nominated 
to one of the judgeships his former military secretary, Rob- 
ert Harrison, familiarly known as the old Secretary; but he 

Cife of XlfaatyT)$toT) 145 

preferred the office of Chancellor of Maryland, recently con- 
ferred upon him. 

On the 29th of September, Congress adjourned to the first 
Monday in January, after an arduous session, in which many 
important questions had been discussed, and powers organ- 
ized and distributed. The actual Congress was inferior in 
eloquence and shining talent to the first Congress of the 
Revolution; but it possessed men well fitted for the momen- 
tous work before them; sober, solid, upright and well in- 
formed. An admirable harmony had prevailed between the 
legislature and the executive, and the utmost decorum had 
reigned over the public deliberations. 

Fisher Ames, then a young man, who had acquired a 
brilliant reputation in Massachusetts by the eloquence with 
which he had championed the new constitution in the con- 
vention of that important State, and who had recently been 
elected to Congress, speaks of it in the following terms: "I 
have never seen an assembly where so little art was used. 
If they wish to carry a point, it is directly declared and 
justified. Its merits and defects are plainly stated, not with- 
out sophistry and prejudice, but without management. . . . 
There is no intrigue, no caucusing, little of clanning to- 
gether, little asperity in debate, or personal bitterness out of 
•he House," 

Vol. XV.— ***7 

146 U/orl^s of U/asl?ii)$toi> Irving 


The Department of State still without a Head — Sketch of Jeffer- 
son's Character and Opinions — Deeply immersed in French Poli- 
tics at Paris — Gouverneur Morris abroad— Contrast of his and 
Jefferson's Views on the French Crisis — News of the French 
Revolution in America — Popular Excitement — Washington's 
cautious Opinion on the Subject — Hamilton's apprehensive 
View — Jefferson offered a Place in the Cabinet as Secretary 
of State 

The cabinet was still incomplete ; the Department of For- 
eign Affairs, or rather of State, as it was now called, was yet 
to be supplied with a head. John Jay would have received 
the nomination had he not preferred the bench. Washing- 
ton next thought of Thomas Jefferson, who had so long filled 
the post of Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of Versail- 
les, but had recently solicited and obtained permission to re- 
turn, for a few months, to the United States, for the purpose 
of placing his children among their friends in their native 
country, and of arranging his private affairs, which had 
suffered from his protracted absence. And here we will 
venture a few particulars concerning this eminent states- 
man, introductory to the important influence he was to ex= 
ercise on national affairs. 

His political principles as a democratic republican had 
Deen avowed at an early date in his draft of the Declaration 
of Independence, and subsequently in the successful war 
which he made upon the old cavalier traditions of his native 
State ; its laws of entails and primogeniture, and its church 

Cife of U/as^ir><$top 147 

establishment — a war which broke down the hereditary fort- 
unes and hereditary families, and put an end to the heredi- 
tary aristocracy of the Ancient Dominion. 

Being sent to Paris as minister plenipotentiary a year or 
two after the peace, he arrived there, as he says, "when the 
American Revolution seemed to have awakened the thinking 
part of the French nation from the sleep of despotism in 
which they had been sunk." 

Carrying with him his republican principles and zeal, his 
house became the resort of Lafayette and others of the 
French officers who had served in the American Revolution. 
They were mostly, he said, young men little shackled by 
habits and prejudices, and had come back with new idoas 
and new impressions, which began to be disseminated by 
the press and in conversation. Politics became the theme of 
all societies, male and female, and a very extensive and zeal- 
ous party was formed which acquired the appellation of the 
Patriot Party, who, sensible of the abuses of the government 
under which Ithey lived, sighed for occasions of reforming 
it. "This party," writes Jefferson, "comprehended all the 
honesty of the kingdom sufficiently at leisure to think, the 
men of letters, the easy bourgeois, the young nobility, partly 
from reflection, partly from the mode; for these sentiments 
became matter of mode, and, as such, united most of the 
young women to the party." 

By this party Jefferson was considered high authority 
from his republican principles and experience, and his advice 
was continually sought in the great effort for political reform 
which was daily growing stronger and stronger. His ab- 
sence in Europe had prevented his taking part in the debates 
on the new constitution, but he had exercised his influence 
through his correspondence. "I expressed freely," writes 

148 UVorl^s of U/asl?ir)$tor) Iruir><$ 

he, "in letters to my friends, and most particularly to Mr. 
Madison and General Washington, my approbations and 
objections." * "What those approbations and objections 
were appears by the following citations, which are impor- 
tant to be kept in mind as illustrating his after conduct. 

1 'I approved, from the first moment, of the great mass of 
what is in the new constitution, the consolidation of the gov- 
ernment, the organization into executive, legislative and ju- 
diciary; the subdivision of the legislature, the happy com- 
promise of the interests between the great and little States, 
by the different manner of voting in the different Houses, 
the voting by persons instead of States, the qualified nega- 
tive on laws given to the executive, which, however, I should 
have liked better if associated with the judiciary also, as in 
New York, and the power of taxation : what I disapproved, 
from the first moment, was the want of a bill of rights to 
guard liberty against the legislative as well as against the 
executive branches of the government; that is to say, to 
secure freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom 
from monopolies, freedom from unlawful imprisonment, free- 
dom from a permanent military, and a trial by jury in all 
cases determinable by the laws of the land." 

What he greatly objected to was the perpetual re -eligibil- 
ity of the President. "This, I fear," said he, "will make 
that an office for life, first, and then hereditary. I was 
much an enemy to monarchies before I came to Europe, and 
am ten thousand times more so since I have seen what they 
are. There is scarcely an evil known in these countries 
which may not be traced to their king as its source, nor a 
good which is not derived fom the small fibers of republican- 

* Autobiography, Works, i. 79. 

Cife of Wa&\)iT)$toT) 149 

ism existing among them. I can further say, with safety, 
there is not a crowned head in Europe whose talents or mer- 
its would entitle him to be elected a vestryman by the people 
of any parish in America." * 

In short, such a horror had he imbibed of kingly rule that, 
in a familiar letter to Colonel Humphreys, who had been his 
secretary of legation, he gives it as the duty of our young 
Republic "to besiege the throne of heaven with eternal 
prayers to extirpate from creation this class of human lions, 
tigers and mammoths, called kings, from whom, let him 
perish who does not say, 'Good Lord, deliver us!' " 

Jefferson's political fervor occasionally tended to exalta- 
tion, but it was genuine. In his excited state he regarded 
with quick suspicion everything in his own country that ap- 
peared to him to have a regal tendency. His sensitiveness 
had been awakened by the debates in Congress as to the title 
to be given to the President, whether or not he should be 
addressed as His Highness; and had been relieved by the 
decision that he was to have no title but that of office; viz., 
President of the United States. "I hope," said Jefferson, 
"the terms of Excellency, Honor, Worship, Esquire, forever 
disappear from among us from that moment. I wish that 
of Mr. would follow them." f 

With regard to the re-eligibility of the President, his anx- 
iety was quieted for the present by the elevation of "Washing 
ton to the Presidential chair. "Since the thing [re-eligibil- 
ity] is established," writes he, "I would wish it not to be 
altered during the lifetime of our great leader, whose execu- 
tive talents are superior to those, I believe, of any man in 

* Letter to Washington, May 2, 1788. Works, ii. 375. 
t Letter to Mr. Carmichael, Works, iii. 88. 

150 U/or^s of U/asl^ip^toi) Irvfr?$ 

the world, and who, alone, by the authority of his name, 
and the confidence reposed in his perfect integrity, is fully 
qualified to put the new government so under way as to 
secure it against the efforts of opposition. But, having de- 
rived from our error all the good there was in it, I hope we 
shall correct it the moment we can no longer have the same 
name at the helm." * 

Jefferson, at the time of which we are speaking, was, as 
we have shown, deeply immersed in French politics and in- 
terested in the success of the "Patriot Party,' ' in its efforts 
to reform the country. His dispatches to government all 
proved how strongly he was on the side of the people. "He 
considered a successful reformation in France as insuring a 
general reformation throughout Europe, and the resurrection 
to a new life of their people, now ground to dust by the 
abuses of the governing powers." 

Gouverneur Morris, who was at that time in Paris on 
private business, gives a different view of the state of things 
produced by the Patriot party. Morris had arrived in Paris 
on 3d of February, 1789, furnished by Washington with let- 
ters of introduction to persons in England, France and Hol- 
land. His brilliant talents, ready conversational powers, 
easy confidence in society, and striking aristocratical appear- 
ance, had given him great currency, especially in the court 
party and among the ancient nobility ; in which direction his 
tastes most inclined. He had renewed his intimacy with 
Lafayette, whom he found "full of politics," but "too re- 
publican for the genius of his country." 

In a letter to the French minister, residing in New York, 
Morris writes on the 23d of February, 1789: "Your nation 

* Letter to F. Hopkinson, "Works, ii. 587. 

Cife of \l/astyT)$tOT) 151 

is now in a most important crisis, and the great question — 
shall we hereafter have a constitution, or shall will continue 
to be law — employs every mind and agitates every heart in 
France. Even voluptuousness itself rises from its couch of 
roses and looks anxiously abroad at the busy scene to which 
nothing can now be indifferent. 

"Your nobles, your clergy, your people are all in motion 
for the elections. A spirit which had been dormant for gen- 
erations starts up and stares about, ignorant of the means of 
obtaining, but ardently desirous to possess its object — conse- 
quently active, energetic, easily led, but also easily, too easily, 
misled. Such is the instinctive love of freedom which now 
grows warm in the bosom of your count ry." 

When the king was constrained by the popular voice to 
convene the States General at Versailles for the purpose 
of discussing measures of reform, Jefferson was a constant 
attendant upon the debates of that body. "I was much 
acquainted with the leading patriots of the Assembly,' ' 
writes he, " being from a country which had successfully 
passed through similar reform ; they were disposed to my 
acquaintance and had some confidence in me. I urged most 
strenuously an immediate compromise to secure what the 
government was now ready to yield, and trust to future 
occasions for what might still be wanting." 

The "leading patriots" here spoken of were chiefly the 
deputies from Brittany, who, with others, formed an asso- 
ciation called the Breton Club, to watch the matters debated 
in Parliament and shape the course of affairs. 

Morris, speaking of Jefferson at this juncture, observes, 
"He and I differ in our system of politics. He, with all the 
leaders of liberty here, is desirous of annihilating distinc- 
tions of order. How far such views may be right, respect- 

152 U/orl^s of U/asl?ir)$toi) Irvip^ 

ing mankind in general, is, I think, extremely problematical. 
But, with respect to this nation, I am sure it is wrong and 
cannot eventuate well." * 

Jefferson, in a letter to Thomas Paine (July 11), giving 
some account of the proceedings of the States General, ob- 
serves, "The National Assembly (for that is the name they 
take) having shown, through every stage of these transac- 
tions, a coolness, wisdom and resolution to set fire to the 
four corners of the kingdom, and to perish with it them- 
selves rather than to relinquish an iota from their plan of 
a total change of government, are now in complete and un- 
disputed possession of the Sovereignty. The executive and 
aristocracy are at their feet; the mass of the nation, the 
mass of the clergy, and the army are with them ; they have 
prostrated the old government and are now beginning to 
build one from the foundation." 

It was but three days after the date of this letter that 
the people of Paris rose in their might, plundered the arsenal 
of the Invalides, furnished themselves with arms, stormed 
the Bastile; and a national guard, formed of the Bour- 
geoisie, with the tricolored cockade for an emblem and La- 
fayette as commander, took Paris under its protection. 

Information of these events was given at midnight to the 
king at Versailles by Rochefoucauld-Liancourt. "It is a 
revolt," exclaimed the king. "Sire," replied Liancourt, 
"it is a revolution!" 

Jefferson, in his dispatches to government, spoke with 
admiration of the conduct of the people throughout the vio- 
lent scenes which accompanied this popular convulsion. 
''There was a severity of honesty observed, of which no 

* Life of G. Morris, i. 313. 

Cife of U/asl?ir}$toi) 153 

example has been known. Bags of money, offered on vari- 
ous occasions through fear or guilt, have been uniformly 
refused by the mobs. The churches are now occupied in 
singing 'De Profundis' and 'Requiems' for the repose of the 
souls of the brave and valiant citizens who have sealed, with 
their blood, the liberty of the nation. . . . "We cannot sup- 
pose this paroxysm confined to Paris alone ; the whole coun- 
try must pass successfully through it, and happy if they get 
through as soon and as well as Paris has done.." * 

Gouverneur Morris, writing on the same subject to Wash- 
ington, on the 31st of July, observes: "You may consider 
the Revolution as complete. The authority of the king and 
of the nobility is completely subdued ; yet I tremble for the 
constitution. They have all the romantic spirit and all the 
romantic ideas of government, which, happily for America, 
we were cured of before it was too late." 

The foregoing brief notices of affairs in revolutionary 
France, and of the feelings with which they were viewed 
by American statesmen resident there, will be found of ser- 
vice in illustrating subsequent events in the United States. 

The first news of the Revolution reached America in 
October, and was hailed by the great mass of the people 
with enthusiasm. "Washington, in reply to his old comrade 
in arms, the Count de Rochambeau, observes: "I am per- 
suaded I express the sentiments of my fellow-citizens when 
I offer an earnest prayer that it may terminate m the perma- 
nent honor and happiness of your government and people." 

But, in a reply of the same date (13th Oct.) to Gouver- 
neur Morris, he shows that his circumspect and cautious 
spirit was not to be hurried away by popular excitement. 

* Letter to John Jay. Jefferson's Works, iii. 80. 

154 U/or^s of Was\)\T)QtOT) Iruio$ 

"The revolution which has been effected in France," writes 
he, "is of so wonderful a nature that the mind can hardly 
realize the fact. If it ends as our last accounts to the 1st 
of August predict, that nation will be the most powerful 
and happy in Europe ; but I fear, though it has gone tri- 
umphantly through the first paroxysm, it is not the last 
it has to encounter before matters are finally settled. In a 
word, the revolution is of too great a magnitude to be effected 
in so short a space, and with the loss of so little blood. The 
mortification of the king, the intrigues of the queen, and the 
discontent of the princes and noblesse, will foment divisions, 
if possible, in the National Assembly ; and they will, unques- 
tionably, avail themselves of every faux pas in the forma- 
tion of the constitution, if they do not give a more open, 
active opposition. In addition to these, the licentiousness 
of the people on one hand, and sanguinary punishments on 
the other, will alarm the best disposed friends to the meas- 
ure, and contribute not a little to the overthrow of their 
object. Great temperance, firmness and foresight are neces- 
sary in the movements of that body. To forbear running 
from one extreme to another is no easy matter : and should 
this be the case, rocks and shelves, not visible at present, 
may wreck the vessel and give a higher-toned despotism than 
the one which existed before." * 

Hamilton, too, regarded the recent events in France with 
a mixture of pleasure and apprehension. In a letter to La- 
fayette he writes : "As a friend to mankind and to liberty, 
I rejoice in the efforts which you are making to establish it, 
while I fear much for the final success of the attempts, for 
the fate of those who are engaged in it, and for the danger 

* Writings of Washington, x. 39. 

Cife of U/asl?ir}<$toi} 155 

in case of success, of innovations greater than will consist 
with the real felicity of your nation. ... I dread disagree- 
ments, among those who are now united, about the nature 
of your constitution ; I dread the vehement character of your 
people, whom, I fear, you may find it more easy to bring 
on, than to keep within proper bounds after you have put 
them in motion. I dread the interested refractoriness of 
your nobles, who cannot all be gratified, and who may be 
unwilling to submit to the requisite sacrifices. And I dread 
the reveries of your philosophic politicians, who appear in 
the moment to have great influence, and who, being mere 
speculatists, may aim at more refinement than suits either 
with human nature or the composition of your nation." * 

The opposite views and feelings of Hamilton and Jeffer- 
son, with regard to the French revolution, are the more 
interesting, as these eminent statesmen were soon to be 
brought face to face in the cabinet, the policy of which would 
be greatly influenced by French affairs; for it was at this 
time that Washington wrote to Jefferson, offering him the 
situation of Secretary of State, but forbearing to nominate 
a successor to his post at the Court of Versailles, until he 
should be informed of his determination. 

* Hamilton's Works, v. 440. 

156 U/or^s of U/as^ir^toi) Iruip$ 


Washington's Journey through the Eastern States — John Hancock 
— Clashing between the Civil and Municipal Authorities on the 
President's Entry into Boston — A Contest of Etiquette — Wash- 
ington's Account of his Entry — His Reception — A new Punc- 
tilio—Address of the Cincinnati Society — Return to New York 

At the time of writing the letter to Jefferson, offering 
him the Department of State, Washington was on the eve 
of a journey through the Eastern States, with a view, as 
he said, to observe the situation of the country, and with 
a hope of perfectly re-establishing his health, which a series 
of indispositions had much impaired. Having made all his 
arrangements, and left the papers appertaining to the office 
of Foreign Affairs under the temporary superintendence 
of Mr. Jay, he set out from New York on the 15th of Oc- 
tober, traveling in his carriage with four horses, and accom- 
panied by his official secretary, Major Jackson, and his 
private secretary, Mr. Lear. Though averse from public 
parade, he could not but be deeply affected and gratified 
at every step by the manifestations of a people's love. 
"Wherever he came, all labor was suspended; business 
neglected. The bells were rung, the guns were fired ; there 
were civic processions and military parades and triumphal 
arches, and all classes poured forth to testify, in every pos- 
sible manner, their gratitude and affection for the man 
whom they hailed as the Father of his country; and well 
did his noble stature, his dignified demeanor, his matured 

Cife of U/asbip^top 157 

years, and his benevolent aspect, suit that venerable appel- 

On the 22d, just after entering Massachusetts, he was 
met by an express from the Governor of the State (the Hon. 
John Hancock), inviting him to make his quarters at his 
house while he should remain in Boston, and announcing 
to him that he had issued orders for proper escorts to attend 
him, and that the troops with the gentlemen of the Council 
would receive him at Cambridge and wait on him to town. 

Washington, in a courteous reply, declined the Gov- 
ernor's invitation to his residence, having resolved, he said, 
on leaving New York, to accept of no invitations of the 
kind while on his journey, through an unwillingness to give 
trouble to private families. He had accordingly instructed 
a friend to engage lodgings for him during his stay in Bos- 
ton. He was highly sensible, he observed, of the honors 
intended him ; but, could his wishes prevail, he would desire 
to visit the metropolis without any parade or extraordinary 
ceremony. It was never Washington's good fortune, on 
occasions of the kind, to have his modest inclinations con- 
sulted; in the present instance they were little in accord 
with the habits and notions of the Governor, who, accus- 
tomed to fill public stations and preside at public assem- 
blies, which he did with the punctilio of the old school, was 
strictly observant of everything appertaining to official rank 
and dignity. Governor Hancock was now about fifty-two 
years of age, tall and thin, of a commanding deportment 
and graceful manner, though stooping a little and much 
afflicted with the gout. He was really hospitable, which 
his ample wealth enabled him to be, and was no doubt 
desirous of having Washington as a guest under his roof, 
but resolved, at all events, to give him a signal reception 

158 U/orl^s of U/asl?ri)$toi) Iruii?^ 

as the guest of the State over which he presided. Now it 
so happened that the "selectmen," or municipal authorities 
of Boston, had also made arrangements for receiving the 
President in their civic domain, and in so doing had pro- 
ceeded without consulting the Governor ; as might have been 
expected, some clashing of rival plans was the result. 

In pursuance of the Governor's arrangement, the militia, 
with General Brooks at their head, and Mr. Samuel Adams, 
the Lieutenant-governor, at the head of the Executive Coun- 
cil, met Washington at Cambridge, and escorted him with 
great ceremony to town. Being arrived at the grand en- 
trance, which is over what is called "The Neck," the Lieu- 
tenant-governor and the Executive Council were brought 
to a sudden halt by observing the municipal authorities 
drawn up in their carriage, in formal array, to pay civic 
honors to the city's guest. Here ensued a great question 
of etiquette. The Executive Council insisted on the right 
of the Governor, as chief of the State, to receive and wel- 
come its guest, at the entrance of its capital. "He should 
have met him at the boundary of the State over which he 
presides," replied the others; "and there have welcomed 
him to the hospitalities of the commonwealth. "When the 
President is about to enter the town, it is the delegated 
right of the municipal authorities thereof to receive and 
bid him welcome." 

The contending parties remained drawn up resolutely 
in their carriages, while aides-de-camp and marshals were 
posting to and fro between them, carrying on a kind of 
diplomatic parley. 

In the meantime the President, and Major Jackson, his 
secretary, had mounted on horseback, and were waiting on 
the Neck to be conducted into the town. The day was un- 

Cife of U/asl?ii}$toi) 159 

usually cold and murky. "Washington became chilled and 
impatient, and when informed of the cause of the detention, 
"Is there no other avenue into the town?" demanded he of 
Major Jackson. He was, in fact, on the point of wheeling 
about, when word was brought that the controversy was 
over, and that he would be received by the municipal au- 

"We give his own account of the succeeding part of the 
ceremony. "At the entrance, I was welcomed by the select- 
men in a body. Then following the Lieutenant-governor 
and Council in the order we came from Cambridge (preceded 
by the town corps, very handsomely dressed), we passed 
through the citizens, classed in their different professions, 
and under their own banners, till we came to the State 
House.' ' 

The streets, the doors, the windows, the housetops were 
crowded with well-dressed people of both sexes. "He was 
on horseback," says an observer, "dressed in his old Conti- 
nental uniform, with his hat off. He did not bow to the 
spectators as he passed, but sat on his horse with a calm, 
dignified air. He dismounted at the old State House, now 
City Hall,* and came oat on a temporary balcony at the 
west end ; a long procession passed before him, whose saluta- 
tions he occasionally returned. These and other ceremonials 
being over, the Lieutenant-governor and Council, accom- 
panied by the Vice-President, conducted ^Washington to his 
lodgings, where they took leave of him." And now he is 
doomed to the annoyance of a new question of etiquette. 
He had previously accepted the invitation of Governor Han- 
cock to an informal dinner, but had expected that that func- 


This was written some years ago. 

160 U/or^s of U/asbip^toi) Irvir>$ 

tionary would wait upon him as soon as he should arrive; 
instead of which he received a message from him, pleading 
that he was too much indisposed to do so. Washington dis- 
trusted the sincerity of the apology. He had been given 
to understand that the Governor wished to evade paying 
the first visit, conceiving that, as Governor of a State, and 
within the bounds of that State, the point of etiquette made 
it proper that he should receive the first visit, even from 
the President of the United States. "Washington determined 
to resist this pretension; he therefore excused himself from 
the informal dinner, and dined at his lodgings, where the 
Vice-President favored him with his company. 

The next day the Governor, on consultation with his 
friends, was persuaded to waive the point of etiquette, and 
sent "his best respects to the President," informing him 
that, if at home and at leisure, he would do himself the 
honor to visit him in half an hour, intimating that he would 
have done it sooner had his health permitted, and that it was 
not without hazard to his health that he did it now. 

The following was "Washington's reply, the last sentence 
of which almost savors of irony : 

"Sunday, 26th October, 1 o'clock. 

"The President of the United States presents his best 
respects to the Governor, and has the honor to inform him 
that he shall be home till two o'clock. 

"The President need not express the pleasure it will give 
him to see the Governor; but at the same time, he most 
earnestly begs that the Governor will not hazard his health 
on the occasion. ' ' 

From "Washington's diary we find that the Governor 
found strength to pay the litigated visit within the specified 

Cife of U/a8l?ii)<$toi) 161 

time — though, according to one authority, he went enveloped 
in red baize, and was borne in the arms of servants into the 

It does not appear that any harm resulted from the hazard 
to which the Governor exposed himself. At all events the 
hydra etiquette was silenced, and everything went on pleas- 
antly and decorously throughout the remainder of Washing- 
ton's sojourn in Boston. 

Various addresses were made to him in the course of his 
visit, but none that reached his heart more directly than 
that of his old companions in arms, the Cincinnati Society 
of Massachusetts, who hailed him as "their glorious leader 
in war, their illustrious example in peace." 

"Dear, indeed," said he, in reply, "is the occasion which 
restores an intercourse with my associates in prosperous and 
adverse fortune; and enhanced are the triumphs of peace 
participated with those whose virtue and valor so largely 
contributed to procure them. To that virtue and valor your 
country has confessed her obligations. Be mine the grateful 
task to add to the testimony of a connection which it was 
my pride to own in the field, and is now my happiness to 
acknowledge in the enjoyments of peace and freedom." 

After remaining in Boston for a week, feted in the most 
hospitable manner, he appointed eight o'clock, on Thursday 
the 29th, for his departure. The appointed time arrived, 
but not the escort; whereupon, punctual himself, and fear- 
ing, perhaps, to be detained by some new question of eti- 
quette, he departed without them, and was overtaken by 
them on the road. 

His journey eastward terminated at Portsmouth, whence 

* Sullivan's Letters on Public Characters, p. 15. 

162 U/orKs of U/asbip^toi) Irvfr>$ 

he turned his face homeward by a middle route through the 
interior of the country to Hartford, and thence to New York, 
where he arrived between two and three o'clock on the 13th 
of November. 


Col. John Trumbull — Message to Washington from Lafayette — Jef- 
ferson's Embarkation for America — Washington forwards his 
Commission as Secretary of State — His Acceptance 

Not long after Washington's return from his Eastern 
tour, Colonel John Trumbull, his aid-de-camp in former 
days, now a historical painter of eminence, arrived from 
Europe, where he had been successfully prosecuting his 
art and preparing for his grand pictures, illustrative of our 
Revolutionary history. At Mr. Jefferson's house in Paris 
he had been enabled to sketch from life the portraits of 
several of the French officers who had been present at the 
capture of Cornwallis, and were now among the popular 
agitators of France. He had renewed his military acquaint- 
ance with Lafayette; witnessed the outbreak of the revolu- 
tion ; the storming of the Bastile ; and attended the marquis 
on one occasion, when the latter succeeded in calming the 
riotous excesses of a mob, principally workmen, in the Fau- 
bourg St. Antoine. 

Trumbull brought an especial message from Lafayette. 
The marquis had been anxious that Washington should know 
the state of affairs in France, and the progress and prospects 
of the momentous cause in which he was engaged ; but, in 
the hurry of occupation, had not time to write with the nec- 
essary detail ; finding, however, that Trumbull was soon to 

Cife of U/asI?ip^top 163 

depart for the United States, he invited him to breakfast 
with him at an early hour and alone, for the express purpose 
of explaining matters to him frankly and fully, to be com- 
municated by him to Washington, immediately on his arrival 
in America. 

We give the colonel's report of Lafayette's conversation, 
as he has recorded it in his autobiography. 

"You have witnessed the surface of things," said the 
marquis; "it is for me to explain the interior. The object 
which is aimed at by the Duke de Rochefoucauld, M. Con- 
dorset, myself and some others, who consider ourselves 
leaders, is to obtain for France a constitution nearly resem- 
bling that of England, which we regard as the most perfect 
model of government hitherto known. To accomplish this, 
it is necessary to diminish, very essentially, the power of the 
king ; but our object is to retain the throne, in great majesty, 
as the first branch of the legislative power, but retrenching 
its executive power in one point, which, though very impor- 
tant in the British crown, we think is needless here. The 
peerage of France is already so numerous that we would 
take from our king the right of creating new peers, except 
in cases where old families might become extinct. To all 
this the king (who is one of the best of men, and sincerely 
desirous for the happiness of his people) most freely and 
cordially consents. 

1 ' We wish a House of Peers with powers of legislation 
similar to that of England, restricted in number to one hun- 
dred members, to be elected by the whole body from among 
themselves, in the same manner as the Scotch peers are in 
the British parliament. . . . We wish, as the third branch 
of the legislative body, a House of Representatives, chosen 
by the great body of the people from among themselves, 

164 U/orl{8 of U/asr;ir;$ton Iruir><$ 

by such a ratio as shall not make the House too numerous; 
and this branch of our project meets unanimous applause. 
. . . Unhappily, there is one powerful and wicked man, 
who, I fear, will destroy this beautiful fabric of human 
happiness — the Duke of Orleans. He does not, indeed, 
possess talent to carry into execution a great project, but 
he possesses immense wealth, and France abounds in market- 
able talents. Every city and town has young men eminent 
for abilities, particularly in the law — ardent in character, 
eloquent, ambitious of distinction, but poor. These are the 
instruments which the duke may command by money, and 
they will do his bidding. His hatred of the royal family 
can be satiated only by their ruin; his ambition, probably, 
leads him to aspire to the throne. 

"You saw the other day, in the mob, men who were 
called les Marseillois, les patriots par excellence. You 
saw them particularly active and audacious in stimulating 
the discontented artisans and laborers, who composed the 
great mass of the mob, to acts of violence and ferocity; 
these men are, in truth, desperadoes, assassins from the 
south of France, familiar with murder, robbery and every 
atrocious crime, who have been brought up to Paris by the 
money of the duke, for the very purpose in which you saw 
them employed, of mingling in all mobs and exciting the 
passions of the people to frenzy. 

"This is the first act of the drama. The second will be 
to influence the elections, to fill the approaching Assembly 
with ardent, inexperienced, desperate, ambitious young men, 
who, instead of proceeding to discuss calmly the details of 
the plan of which I have given you the general outline, and 
to carry it quietly into operation, will, under disguise of zeal 
for the people, and abhorrence of the aristocrats, drive every 

Cife of U/asl?ii)$tor) 165 

measure to extremity, for the purpose of throwing the affairs 
of the nation into utter confusion, when the master spirit 
may accomplish his ultimate purpose." * 

Such was the report of affairs in France which Lafayette 
transmitted by Trumbull to Washington. It was not long 
after this conversation of the colonel with the marquis that, 
the sittings of the National Assembly being transferred from 
Versailles to Paris, the Breton club fixe.d itself on the site of 
the convent of Jacobins; threw open its doors to the public, 
and soon, under the appellation of the " Jacobin Club," ex- 
ercised the baleful influence in public affairs which Lafayette 

Washington had listened with profound attention to the 
report rendered by Trumbull. In the course of a subsequent 
conversation the latter informed him that Mr. Jefferson had 
embarked for America, and, it was probable, had already 
landed at Norfolk in Virginia. Washington immediately 
forwarded to him his commission as Secretary of State, re- 
questing to know his determination on the subject. 

Jefferson, in reply, expressed himself flattered by the 
nomination, but dubious of his being equal to its extensive 
and various duties, while, on the other hand, he felt familiar 
with the duties of his present office. "But it is not for an 
individual to choose his path," said he. "You are to mar- 
shal us as may best be for the public good. . . . Signify to 
me, by another line, your ultimate wish, and I shall conform 
to it cordially. If it should be to remain in New York, my 
chief comfort will be to work under your eye ; my only shel- 
ter the authority of your name and the wisdom of measures 
to be dictated by you and implicitly executed by me." f 

* Trumbull's Autobiography, 151. 
f Jefferson's Works, vol. hi., p. 125. 

166 U/orl^s of U/asl?i i?<$toi> In/fr>$ 

"Washington, in answer, informed him that ho considered 
the successful administration of the general government an 
object of almost infinite consequence to the present and fut- 
ure happiness of the citizens of the United States; that he 
regarded the office of Secretary for the Department of State 
very important, and that he knew of no person who, in his 
judgment, could better execute the duties of it than himself.* 

Jefferson accordingly accepted the nomination, but ob- 
served that the matters which had called him home would 
probably prevent his setting out for New York before the 
month of March. 


Reassembling of Congress — Financial Condition of the Country — Its 
Debt at Home and Abroad — Debts of the States — Hamilton's 
Report — Opposition to it — Dr. Stuart's warning Letter to Wash- 
ington — His Reply — Jefferson's arrival at the Seat cf Gov- 
ernment — New York at that Period — Jefferson apprehends 
Monarchial Designs 

Congress reassembled on the 4th of January (1790), but 
a quorum of the two Houses was not present until the 8th, 
when the session was opened by "Washington in form, with 
an address delivered before them in the Senate chamber, f 

* Washington's Writings, x. 77. 

t As the degree of state with which the session was opened 
was subsequently a matter of comment, we extract from 
Washington's diary his own account of it, premising that 
the regulations were devised by General Knox and Colonel 

" Friday, 8th, according to appointment, at eleven o'clock, 
I set out for the City Hall on my coach, preceded by Colonel 
Humphreys and Major Jackson in uniform (on my two white 
horses), and followed by Messrs. Lear and Nelson in my 
chariot, and Mr. Lewis, on horseback, following them. In 

Cife of ll/as^ir^tor; 167 

Among the most important objects suggested in the ad- 
dress for the deliberation of Congress were provisions for na- 
tional defense; provisions for facilitating intercourse with 
foreign nations, and defraying the expenses of diplomatic 
agents ; laws for the naturalization of foreigners ; uniformity 
in the currency, weights, and measures of the United States; 
facilities for the advancement of commerce, agriculture, and 
manufactures; attention to the post-office and post- roads; 
measures for the promotion of science and literature, and for 
the support of public credit. 

This last object was the one which Washington had more 
immediately at heart. The government was now organized, 
apparently, to the satisfaction of all parties ; but its efficiency 
would essentially depend on the success of a measure which 
"Washington had pledged himself to institute, and which was 
yet to be tried ; namely, a system of finance adapted to re- 
vive the national credit and place the public debt in a condi- 
tion to be paid off. The credit of the country was at a low 
ebb. The confederacy, by its articles, had the power of con- 

their rear was the Chief -justice of the United States and 
Secretaries of the Treasury and War Departments in their 
respective carriages and in the order they are named. At 
the outer door of the Hall, I was met by the doorkeepers of 
the Senate and House, and conducted to the door of the Sen- 
ate chamber, and passing from thence to the chair through 
the Senate on the right and House of Representatives on the 
left, I took my seat. The gentlemen who attended me fol- 
lowed and took their stands behind the Senators ; the whole 
rising as I entered. After being seated, at which time the 
members of both Houses also sat, I rose (as they also did), 
and made my speech, delivering one copy to the President of 
the Senate and another to the Speaker of the House of Rep- 
resentatives — after which, and being a few moments seated, 
I retired, bowing on each side to the assembly (who stood) 
as I passed, and descending to the lower hall attended as be- 
fore, I returned with them to my house." 

168 U/or^s of U/asl?ir)$toi) Irving 

tracting debts for a national object, but no control over the 
means of payment. Thirteen independent legislatures could 
grant or withhold the means. The government was then a 
government under governments — the States had more power 
than Congress. At the close of the war the debt amounted 
to forty-two millions of dollars; but so little had the country 
been able to fulfill its engagements, owing to the want of a 
sovereign legislature having the sole and exclusive power of 
laying duties upon imports, and thus providing adequate re- 
sources, that the debt had swollen, through arrears of inter- 
est, to upward of fifty-four millions. Of this amount nearly 
eight millions were due to France, between three and four 
millions to private lenders in Holland, and about two hun- 
dred and fifty thousand in Spain ; making, altogether, nearly 
twelve millions due abroad. The debt contracted at home 
amounted to upward of forty-two millions, and was due, 
originally, to officers and soldiers of the Revolutionary war, 
who had risked their lives for the cause ; farmers who had 
furnished supplies for the public service, or whose property 
had been assumed for it ; capitalists who, in critical periods 
of the war, had adventured their fortunes in support of their 
country's independence. The domestic debt, therefore, could 
not have had a more sacred and patriotic origin ; but, in the 
long delay of national justice, the paper which represented 
these outstanding claims had sunk to less than a sixth of its 
nominal value, and the larger portion of it had been parted 
with at that depreciated rate, either in the course of trade, 
or to speculative purchasers, who were willing to take the 
risk of eventual payment, however little their confidence 
seemed to be warranted, at the time, by the pecuniary con- 
dition and prospects of the country. 

The debt, when thus transferred, lost its commanding 

Cife of U/a8l>ip^toi) 169 

appeal to patriotic sympathy ; but remained as obligatory in 
the eye of justice. In public newspapers, however, and in 
private circles, the propriety of a discrimination between the 
assignees and the original holders of the public securities was 
freely discussed. Besides the foreign and domestic debt of 
the Federal government, the States, individually, were in- 
volved in liabilities contracted for the common cause, to an 
aggregate amount of about twenty -five millions of dollars; 
of which, more than one-half was due from three of them ; 
Massachusetts and South Carolina each owing more than 
five millions, and Virginia more than three and a half. The 
reputation and the well-being of the government were, there- 
fore, at stake upon the issue of some plan to retrieve the 
national credit, and establish it upon a firm and secure 

The Secretary of the Treasury (Mr. Hamilton), it will be 
remembered, had been directed by Congress to prepare such 
a plan during its recess. In the one thus prepared he as- 
serted, what none were disposed to question, the propriety 
of paying the foreign debt according to its terms. He as- 
serted, also, the equal validity of the original claims of the 
American creditors of the government ; whether those credit- 
ors were the original holders of its certificates or subsequent 
purchasers of them at a depreciated value. The idea of any 
distinction between them, which some were inclined to ad- 
vance, he repudiated as alike unjust, impolitic and impracti- 
cable. He urged, moreover, the assumption, by the general 
government, of the separate debts of the States, contracted 
for the common cause, and that a like provision should be 
made for their payment as for the payment of those of the 
Union. They were all contracted in the struggle for na- 
tional independence, not for the independence of any par- 

Vol. XV.—** *8 

170 U/orKs of U/ael?i9$tor? Irving 

ticular part. No more money would be required for their 
discharge as Federal than as State debts. Money could be 
raised more readily by the Federal government than by the 
States, and all clashing and jealousy between State and Fed- 
eral debtors would thus be prevented. A reason, also, which, 
no doubt, had great weight with him, though he did not 
bring it under consideration in his report, for fear, probably, 
of offending the jealousy of State sovereignty, dormant, but 
not extinct, was, that it would tend to unite the States finan- 
cially, as they were united politically, and strengthen the 
central government by rallying capitalists around it; sub- 
jecting them to its influence, and rendering them agents of 
its will. He recommended, therefore, that the entire mass 
of debt be funded ; the Union made responsible for it, and 
taxes imposed for its liquidation. He suggested, moreover, 
the expediency, for the greater security of the debt and 
punctuality in the payment of interest, that the domestic 
creditors submit to an abatement of accruing interest. 

The plan was reported to the House by Mr. Hamilton, 
the 14th of January, but did not undergo consideration until 
the 8th of February, when it was opposed with great ear- 
nestness, especially the point of assuming the State debts, as 
tending to consolidation, as giving an undue influence to the 
general government, and as being of doubtful constitutional- 
ity. This financial union of the States was reprobated, not 
only on the floor of Congress, but in different parts of the 
Union, as fraught with political evil. The Northern and 
Eastern States generally favored the plan, as did also South 
Carolina, but Virginia manifested a determined opposition. 
The measure, however, passed, in Committee of the "Whole, 
on the 9th of March, by a vote of 31 to 26. 

The funding of the State debts was supposed to benefit, 


Irving, Vol. Fifteen, p. 165. 

Cife of U/asl?ii)$toi) 171 

materially, the Northern States, in which was the entire 
capital of the country; yet, South Carolina voted for the 
assumption. The fact is, opinions were honestly divided on 
the subject. The great majority were aiming to do their 
duty — to do what was right; but their disagreement was 
the result of real difficulties incident to the intricate and 
complicated problem with which they had to deal. 

A letter from "Washington's monitory friend, Dr. Stuart 
of Virginia (dated March 15th), spoke with alarm of the jeal- 
ous belief growing up in that quarter that the Northern and 
Eastern States were combining to pursue their own exclusive 
interests. Many, he observed, who had heretofore been 
warm supporters of the government, were changing their 
sentiments, from a conviction of the impracticability of union 
with States whose interests were so dissimilar. 

Washington had little sympathy with these sectional 
jealousies; and the noble language in which he rebukes 
them cannot be too largely cited. "I am sorry," he ob- 
serves, "such jealousies as you speak of should be gaining 
ground and poisoning the minds of the Southern people ; but, 
admit the fact which is alleged as the cause of them, and 
give it full scope, does it amount to more than was known to 
every man of information before, at, and since the adoption 
of the Constitution? Was it not always believed that there 
are some points which peculiarly interest the Eastern States? 
And did any one who reads human nature, and more espe- 
cially the character of the eastern people, conceive that they 
would not pursue them steadily, by a combination of their 
force? Are there not other points which equally concern the 
Southern States? If these States are less tenacious of their 
interest, or if, while the Eastern move in a solid phalanx to 
effect their views, the Southern are always divided, which 

172 U/orl^s of U/asl?ir)<$t:oi) Irvii)$ 

of the two is most to be blamed? That there is a diversity 
of interests in the Union, none has denied. That this is the 
case, also, in every State, is equally certain ; and that it even 
extends to the counties of individual States, can be as readily 
proved. Instance the southern and northern parts of Vir- 
ginia, the upper and lower parts of South Carolina. Have 
not the interests of these always been at variance? Witness 
the county of Fairfax. Have not the interests of the people 
of that county varied, or the inhabitants been taught to be- 
lieve so? These are well-known truths, and yet it did not 
follow that separation was to result from the disagreement. 
"To constitute a dispute there must be two parties. To 
understand it well, both parties, and all the circumstances, 
must be fully heard ; and, to accommodate differences, tem- 
per and mutual forbearance are requisite. Common danger 
brought the States into confederacy, and on their union our 
safety and importance depend. A spirit of accommodation 
was the basis of the present Constitution. Can it be ex- 
pected, then, that the southern or eastern parts of the em- 
pire will succeed in all their measures? Certainly not. But 
I will readily grant that more points will be carried by the 
latter than the former, and for the reason which has been 
mentioned; namely, that in all great national questions they 
move in unison, while the others are divided. But I ask 
again, which is most blameworthy, those who see and will 
steadily pursue their interest, or those who cannot see, or, 
seeing, will not act wisely? And I will ask another ques- 
tion, of the highest magnitude in my mind : to wit, if the 
Eastern and Northern States are dangerous in union, will 
they be less so in separation? If self-interest is their gov- 
erning principle, will it forsake them, or be restrained by 
such an event? I hardly think it would. Then, independ- 

Cife of U/asl?ii)$tor) 173 

ently of other considerations, what would Virginia, and such 
other States as might be inclined to join her, gain by a sepa- 
ration? Would they not, unquestionably, be the weaker 

At this juncture (March 21st), when Virginian discon- 
tents were daily gaining strength, Mr. Jefferson arrived in 
New York to undertake the duties of the Department of 
State. We have shown his strong antipathies, while in 
Paris, to everything of a monarchial or aristocratical ten- 
dency; he had just been in Virginia, where the forms and 
ceremonials adopted at the seat of our government were sub- 
jects of cavil and sneer; where it was reported that Wash- 
ington affected a monarchial style in his official intercourse, 
that he held court-like levees, and Mrs. Washington "queenly 
drawing-rooms," at which none but the aristocracy were ad- 
mitted, that the manners of both were haughty, and their 
personal habits reserved and exclusive. 

The impressions thus made on Jefferson's mind received 
a deeper stamp on his arrival in New York, from conversa 
tions with his friend Madison, in the course of which the lat- 
ter observed that "the satellites and sycophants which sur- 
rounded Washington had wound up the ceremonials of the 
government to a pitch of stateliness which nothing but his 
personal character could have supported, and which no char- 
acter after him could ever maintain." 

Thus prepossessed and premonished, Jefferson looked 
round him with an apprehensive eye, and appears to have 
seen something to startle him at every turn. We give, from 
his private correspondence, his own account of his impres- 
sions. "Being fresh from the French revolution, while in 
its first and pure stage, and, consequently, somewhat whetted 
up in my own republican principles, I found a state of things 

174 U/or^s of Was\)\T)$tor) Irv/ii)$ 

in the general society of the place which I could not have 
supposed possible. The revolution I had left, and that we 
had just gone through in the recent change of our own gov- 
ernment, being the common topics of conversation, I was as- 
tonished to find the general prevalence of monarchial senti- 
ments, insomuch that in maintaining those of republicanism 
I had always the whole company on my hands, never scarcely 
finding among them a single co-advocate in that argument, 
unless some old member of Congress happened to be present. 
The furthest that any one would go in support of the republi- 
can features of our new government would be to say, 'the 
present constitution is well as a beginning, and may be al- 
lowed a fair trial, but it is, in fact, only a stepping-stone to 
something better.' " 

This picture, given under excitement, and with precon- 
ceived notions, is probably overcharged; but allowing it to 
be true, we can hardly wonder at it, viewed in connection 
with the place and times. New York, during the session 
of Congress, was the gathering place of politicians of every 
party. The revolution of France had made the forms of 
government once more the universal topics of conversation, 
and revived the conflict of opinions on the subject. As yet, 
the history of the world had furnished no favorable examples 
of popular government ; speculative writers in England had 
contended that no government more popular than their own 
was consistent with either internal tranquillity, the suprem ■ 
acy of the laws, or a great extent of empire. Our republic 
was ten times larger than any that had yet existed. Jay, 
one of the calmest thinkers of the Union, expressed himself 
dubiously on the subject. 

"Whether any people could long govern themselves in 
an equal, uniform, and orderly manner, was a question of 

Cife of U/asl?ii)<$tor) 175 

vital importance to the cause of liberty, but a question which, 
like others, whose solution depends on facts, could only be 
determined by experience — now, as yet, there had been very 
few opportunities of making the experiment. ' ' 

Alexander Hamilton, though pledged and sincerely dis- 
posed to support the republican form, with regard to our 
country, preferred, theoretically ', a monarchial form; and, 
being frank of speech, and, as Gouverneur Morris writes, 
" prone to mount his hobby/ ' may have spoken openly in 
favor of that form as suitable to France ; and as his admirers 
took their creed from him, opinions of the kind may have 
been uttered pretty freely at dinner- tables. These, however, 
which so much surprised and shocked Mr. Jefferson, were 
probably merely speculative opinions, broached in unguarded 
hours, with no sinister design, by men who had no thought 
of paving the way for a monarchy. They made, however, 
a deep impression on his apprehensive mind, which sank 
deeper and deeper, until it became a fixed opinion with him, 
that there was the desire and aim of a large party, of which 
Hamilton was the leader, to give a regal form to the gov- 

176 U/orKs of ll/as^ir^tor; Iruip$ 


The Assumption of the State Debts discussed — Washington in Favor 
— A Majority of Two against it — Hamilton's Appeal to Jeffer- 
son on the Subject — The latter arranges for a Compromise — His 
Account of it — Adjustment about the Seat of Government — As- 
sumption carried — Treaty of Peace with the Creeks — Cavilings 
about Presidential Etiquette — Washington's Defense — Adjourn- 
ment of Congress — Fancied Harmony of the Cabinet — Jefferson 
suspects Hamilton of Finesse in procuring his Agency in the 

The question of the assumption of the State debts was 
resumed in Congress on the 29th of March, on a motion to 
commit, which was carried by a majority of two ; the five 
members from North Carolina (now a State of the Union), 
who were strongly opposed to assumption, having taken 
their seats and reversed the position of parties on the ques- 
tion. An angry and intemperate discussion was revived, 
much to the chagrin of Washington, who was concerned for 
the dignity of Congress; and who considered the assumption 
of the State debts, under proper restrictions and scrutiny 
into accounts, to be just and reasonable.* On the 12th of 
April, when the question to commit was taken, there was 
a majority of two against the assumption. 

On the 26th the House was discharged, for the present, 
from proceeding on so much of the report as related to the 
assumption. Jefferson, who had arrived in New York in 
the midst of what he terms "this bitter and angry contest," 

* See letter to David Stuart, "Writings, x., p. 98. 

Cife of U/a8t>ir><$toi) 177 

had taken no concern in it; being, as he says, "a stranger 
to the ground, a stranger to the actors in it, so long absent 
as to have lost all familiarity with the subject, and to be 
unaware of its object." "We give his own account of an 
earnest effort made by Hamilton, who, he says, was "in 
despair," to resuscitate, through his influence, his almost 
hopeless project. "As 1 was going to the President's one 
day, I met him (Hamilton) in the street. He walked me 
backward and forward before the President's door for half 
an hour. He painted pathetically the temper into which 
the legislature had been wrought ; the disgust of those who 
were called the creditor States; the danger of the secession 
of their members, and the separation of the States. He 
observed that the members of the administration ought to 
act in concert; that though this question was not of my 
department, yet a common duty should make it a common 
concern; that the President was the center on which all 
administrative questions ultimately rested, and that all of 
us should rally around him, and support, with joint efforts, 
measures approved by him ; and that the question having 
been lost by a small majority only, it was probable that an 
appeal from me to the judgment and discretion of some of 
my friends might effect a change in the vote, and the ma- 
chine of government, now suspended, might be again set 
into motion. I told him that I was really a stranger to the 
whole subject; that not having yet informed myself of 
the system of finance adopted, 1 knew not how far this was 
a necessary sequence; that undoubtedly, if its rejection en- 
dangered a dissolution of our Union at this incipient stage, 
1 should deem that the most unfortunate of all consequences, 
to avert which all partial and temporary evils should be 
yielded. I proposed to him, however, to dine with me the 

178 U/orKs of U/asl?iD$tOD /ruio$ 

next day, and I would invite another friend or two, bring 
them into conference together, and I thought it impossible 
that reasonable men, consulting together coolly, could fail, 
by some mutual sacrifices of opinion, to form a compromise 
which was to save the Union. The discussion took place. 
I could take no part in it but an exhortatory one, because 
I was a stranger to the circumstances which should govern 
it. But it was finally agreed, that whatever importance had 
been attached to the rejection of this proposition, the pres- 
ervation of the Union, and of concord among the States, 
was more important, and that, therefore, it would be better 
that the vote of rejection should be rescinded, to effect which 
some members should change their votes. But it was ob- 
served that this pill would be peculiarly bitter to the South- 
ern States, and that some concomitant measure should be 
adopted to sweeten it a little to them. There had before 
been projects to fix the seat of government either at Phila- 
delphia or at Georgetown on the Potomac; and it was 
thought that, by giving it to Philadelphia for ten years, 
and to Georgetown permanently afterward, this might, 
as an anodyne, calm in some degree the ferment which 
might be excited by the other measure alone. So two 
of the Potomac members (White and Lee, but "White 
with a revulsion of stomach almost convulsive) agreed to 
change their votes, and Hamilton undertook to carry the 
other point. In doing this, the influence he had established 
over the eastern members, with the agency of Robert Morris 
with those of the Middle States, effected his side of the en- 
gagement." * 

The decision of Congress was ultimately in favor of as- 

* Jefferson's Works, ix. 93, The Anas. 

Cife of \JJaztyi)$toT) 179 

sumption, though the form in which it finally passed differed 
somewhat from the proposition of Hamilton. A specific 
sum was assumed ($21,500,000), and this was distributed 
among the States in specific portions. Thus modified, it 
passed the Senate, July 22d, by the close vote of fourteen 
to twelve; and the House, July 24th, by thirty-four to 
twenty-eight, "after having/ ' says Washington, "been 
agitated with a warmth and intemperance, with prolixity 
and threats which, it is to be feared, have lessened the dig- 
nity of Congress and decreased the respect once entertained 
for it." 

The question about the permanent seat of government, 
which, from the variety of contending interests, had been 
equally a subject of violent contests, was now compromised. 
It was agreed that Congress should continue for ten years to 
hold its sessions at Philadelphia ; during which time the pub- 
lic buildings should be erected at some place on the Potomac, 
to which the government should remove at the expiration 
of the above term. A territory, ten miles square, selected 
for the purpose on the confines of Maryland and Virginia, 
was ceded by those States to the United States, and subse- 
quently designated as the District of Columbia. 

One of the last acts of the Executive during this session 
was the conclusion of a treaty of peace and friendship with 
the Creek nation of Indians, represented at New York by 
Mr. M'Gillivray, and thirty of the chiefs and head men. By 
this treaty (signed August 7th), an extensive territory, 
claimed by Georgia, was relinquished, greatly to the dis- 
content of that State; being considered by it an unjusti- 
fiable abandonment of its rights and interests. Jefferson, 
however, lauded the treaty as important, " drawing a line," 
said he, "between the Creeks and Georgia, and enabling the 

180 U/orl^s of Wa&tyr)QtOT) Iruio$ 

government to do, as it will do, justice against either party 

In familiar conversations with the President, Jefferson 
remonstrated frequently and earnestly against the forms and 
ceremonies prevailing at the seat of government. Washing- 
ton, in reply, gave the explanation which we have stated in 
a preceding chapter ; that they had been adopted at the ad- 
vice of others, and that for himself he was indifferent to all 
forms. He soon, however, became painfully aware of the ex- 
aggerated notions on the subject prevalent in Virginia. A 
letter from his friend, Dr. Stuart, informed him that Patrick 
Henry had scouted the idea of being elected to the Senate ; 
he was too old, he said, to fall into the awkward imitations 
which were now become fashionable. "From this expres- 
sion," adds Mr. Stuart, "I suspect the old patriot has heard 
some extraordinary representations of the etiquette estab- 
lished at your levees." Another person, whom Dr. Stuart 

designates as Col. B , had affirmed "that there was more 

pomp used there than at St. James's, where he had been, 
and that "Washington's bows were more distant and stiff." 

These misapprehensions and exaggerations, prevalent in 
his native State, touched Washington to the quick, and called 
forth a more sensitive reply than, on such subjects, he was 
accustomed to make. "That I have not been able," writes 

he, "to make bows to the taste of poor Col. B (who, by 

the bye, I believe never saw one of them) is to be regretted, 
especially, too, as, upon those occasions, they were indis- 
criminately bestowed, and the best I was master of. Would 
it not have been better to throw the veil of charity over 
them, ascribing their stiffness to the effects of age, or to the 
unskillfulness of my teacher, rather than to pride and the 
dignity of office, which, God knows, has no charms for me? 

Cife of U/asl?io^l:oi) 181 

For I can truly say, I had rather be at Mount Vernon with 
a friend or two about me than to be attended at the seat of 
government by the officers of state and the representatives 
of every power in Europe." 

He then goes on to give a sketch of his levees, and the 
little ceremony that prevailed there. As to the visits made 
on those occasions to the presidential mansion, they were op- 
tional, and made without invitation. "Between the hours 
of three and four, every Tuesday, I am prepared to receive 
them. Gentlemen, often in great numbers, jcome and go, 
chat with each other, and act as they please ; a porter shows 
them into the room and they retire from it when they please, 
and without ceremony. At their first entrance they salute 
me, and I them, and as many as I can talk to I do. "What 
pomp there is in all this I am unable to discover. Perhaps 
it consists in not sitting. To this, two reasons are opposed : 
first, it is unusual; secondly, which is a more substantial 
one, because I have no room large enough to contain a third 
of the chairs which would be sufficient to admit it. 

"Similar to the above, but of a more sociable kind, are 
the visits every Friday afternoon to Mrs. Washington, where 
I always am. These public meetings, and a dinner once a 
week, to as many as my table will hold, with the references 
to and from the different departments of state, and other 
communications with all parts of the Union, are as much, if 
not more, than I am able to undergo ; for I have already 
had, within less than a year, two severe attacks — the last 
worse than the first. A third, more than probably, will put 
me to sleep with my fathers." 

Congress adjourned on the 12th of August. Jefferson, 
commenting on the discord that had prevailed for a time 
among the members, observes that in the latter part of the 

182 U/orKs of U/asbii)$tor) Irvii}©" 

session they had reacquired the harmony which had always 
distinguished their proceedings before the introduction of the 
two disagreeable subjects of the Assumption and the Resi- 
dence: " these,' ' said he, " really threatened, at one time, a 
separation of the legislature sine die." 

4 c It is not foreseen,' ' adds he sanguinely, "that anything 
so generative of dissension can arise again ; and, therefore, 
the friends of government hope that, that difficulty sur- 
mounted in the States, everything will work well. ,, * 

Washington, too, however grieved and disappointed he 
may have been by the dissensions which had prevailed in 
Congress, consoled himself by the fancied harmony of his 
cabinet. Singularly free himself from all jealousy of the 
talents and popularity of others, and solely actuated by zeal 
for the public good, he had sought the ablest men to assist 
him in his arduous task, and supposed them influenced by 
the same unselfish spirit. In a letter to Lafayette, he writes : 
"Many of your old acquaintances and friends are concerned 
with me in the administration of this government. By hav- 
ing Mr. Jefferson at the head of the Department of State, 
Mr. Jay of the Judiciary, Hamilton of the Treasury, and 
Knox of "War, I feel myself supported by able coadjutors 
who harmonize extremely well together." 

Yet, at this very moment, a lurking spirit of rivalry be- 
tween Jefferson and Hamilton was already existing and 
daily gaining strength. Jefferson, who, as we have inti- 
mated, already considered Hamilton a monarchist in his 
principles, regarded all his financial schemes with suspicion, 
as intended to strengthen the influence of the treasury and 
make its chief the master of every vote in the legislature, 

* Jefferson's Works, iii. 184. 

Cife of \I/as\)iT)$toT) 183 

* c which might give to the government the direction suited 
to his political views." 

Under these impressions, Jefferscn looked back with an 
angry and resentful eye to the manner in which Hamilton 
had procured his aid in effecting the measure of assumption. 
He now regarded it as a finesse by which he had been en- 
trapped, and stigmatized the measure itself as a "fiscal ma- 
neuver, to which he had most ignorantly and innocently been 
made to hold the candle." * 


Lafayette at the Head of the Revolution in France — His Letter to 
Washington — Gouverneur Morris's Opinion of his Position — 
Washington's dubious and anxious Views — Presented by La- 
fayette with the Key of the Bastile — Visits Rhode Island and 
Mount Vernon 

During these early stages of his administration the at- 
tention of Washington was often called off from affairs at 
home to affairs in France; and to the conspicuous and peril- 
ous part which his friend and disciple, Lafayette, was play- 
ing in the great revolutionary drama. 

"Your friend, the Marquis de Lafayette," writes the 
Marquis de la Luzerne, "finds himself at the head of ths 
revolution; and, indeed, it is a very fortunate circumstance 
for the State that he is, but very little so for himself. Never 
has any man been placed in a more critical situation. A good 
citizen, a faithful subject, he is embarrassed by a thousand 
difficulties in making many people sensible of what is proper, 
who very often feel it not, and who sometimes do not under- 
stand what it is." 

* Jefferson's Works, ix. 93. 

184 U/orl^s of U/as^ip^top Iruipo; 

Lafayette, too, amid the perplexities of conducting a revo- 
lution, looked back to the time when, in his early campaigns 
in America, he had shared "W ashington's councils, bivouacked 
with him on the field of battle, and been benefited by his 
guardian wisdom in every emergency. 

"How often, my well-beloved general," writes he (Janu- 
ary, 1790), "have I regretted your sage councils and friendly 
support. We have advanced in the career of the revolution 
without the vessel of State being wrecked against the rocks 
of aristocracy or faction. In the midst of efforts, always re- 
newing, of the partisans of the past and of the ambitious, we 
advance toward a tolerable conclusion. At present, that 
which existed has been destroyed; a new political edifice is 
forming; without being perfect, it is sufficient to assure lib- 
erty. Thus prepared, the nation will be in a state to elect, 
in two years, a convention which can correct the faults of 
the constitution. . . . The result will, I hope, be happy for 
my country and for humanity. One perceives the germs of 
liberty in other parts of Europe. I will encourage their de- 
velopment by all the means in my power." 

Gouverneur Morris, who is no enthusiast of the revolu- 
tion, regards its progress with a dubious eye. Lafayette, in 
the previous month of November, had asked his opinion of 
his situation. "I give it to him," writes Morris, il sans me- 
nagement. I tell him that the time approaches when all 
good men must cling to the throne. That the present king 
is very valuable on account of his moderation; and if he 
should possess too great authority, might be persuaded to 
grant a proper constitution. That the thing called a consti- 
tution, which the Assembly have framed, is good for noth- 
ing. That, as to himself, his personal situation is very deli- 
cate. That he nominally, but not really, commands his 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$tor) 185 

troops. That 1 really cannot understand how he is to estab- 
lish discipline among them, but, unless he can accomplish 
that object, he must be ruined sooner or later." 

On the 22d of January, 1790, Morris writes to Washing- 
ton, "Our friend, Lafayette, burns with desire to be at the 
head of an army in Flanders, and drive the Stadtholder into 
a ditch. He acts now a splendid, but dangerous part. Un- 
luckily, he has given in to measures, as to the constitution, 
which he does not heartily approve, and heartily approves 
many things which experience will demonstrate to be in- 
jurious." * 

Far removed as Washington was from the theater of po- 
litical action, and but little acquainted with many of the mi- 
nute circumstances which might influence important decis- 
ions, he was cautious in hazarding opinions in his replies to 
his French correspondents. Indeed, the whole revolutionary 
movement appeared to him so extraordinary in its commence- 
ment, so wonderful in its progress, and so stupendous in its 
possible consequences, that he declared himself almost lost in 
the contemplation of it. "Of one thing you may rest per- 
fectly assured," writes he to the Marquis de la Luzerne, 
"that nobody is more anxious for the happy issue of that 
business than I am ; as no one can wish more sincerely for 
the prosperity of the French nation than I do. Nor is it 
without the most sensible pleasure that I learn that our 
friend, the Marquis de Lafayette, has, in acting the ardu- 
ous part which has fallen to his share, conducted himself 
with so much wisdom and apparently with such general 

A letter subsequently received from Lafayette gives him 
two months' later tidings, extending to the middle of March. 

* Sparks' Life of Morris, ii 86. 

186 U/orl^s of U/asI?ii)$eoi) Irvfp$ 


Our revolution pursues its march as happily as is possible* 
with a nation which, receiving at once all its liberties, is yet 
subject to confound them with licentiousness. The Assem- 
bly has more of hatred against the ancient system than of 
experience to organize the new constitutional government; 
the ministers regret their ancient power, and do not dare to 
make use of that which they have ; in short, as all which ex- 
isted has been destroyed, and replaced by institutions very 
incomplete, there is ample matter for critiques and calumuies. 
Add to this, we are attacked by two sorts of enemies; the 
aristocrats who aim at a counter-revolution, and the factions 
who would annihilate all authority, perhaps even attempt the 
life of the members of the reigning branch. These two par- 
ties foment all the troubles. 

" After having avowed all this, my dear general, I will 
tell you, with the same frankness, that we have made an ad- 
mirable and almost incredible destruction of all the abuses, 
of all the prejudices; that all which was not useful to the 
people, all which did not come from them, has been re- 
trenched; that, in considering the situation, topographical, 
moral and political of France, we have effected more changes 
in ten months than the most presumptuous patriots could 
have hoped, and that the reports about our anarchy, our in- 
ternal troubles, are greatly exaggerated.' ' 

In concluding this letter, he writes: "Permit me, my 
dear general, to offer you a picture representing the Bastile, 
such as it was some days after I had given orders for its 
demolition. I make you homage, also, of the principal key 
of this fortress of despotism. It is a tribute which I owe 
you, as son to my adopted father, as aid-de-camp to my 
general, as missionary of liberty to its patriarch." * 
* Mem. de Lafayette, t. ii., p. 446. 

Cife of U/asI?i9<$toi> 187 

Thomas Paine was to have been the bearer of the key, 
but he forwarded it to Washington from London. "I feel 
myself happy,' ' writes he, "in being the person through 
whom the marquis has conveyed this early trophy of the 
spoils of despotism, and the first ripe fruits of American 
principles, transplanted into Europe, to his great master and 
patron. That the principles of America opened the Bastile 
is not to be doubted, and, therefore, the key comes to the 
right place." 

"Washington received the key with reverence, as "a token 
of the victory gained by liberty over despotism"; and it is 
still preserved at Mount Vernon, as a precious historical 

His affectionate solicitude for the well-being of Lafayette 
was somewhat relieved by the contents of his letter; but, 
while his regard for the French nation made him rejoice in 
the progress of the political reform which he considered es- 
sential to its welfare, he felt a generous solicitude for the 
personal safety of the youthful monarch, who had befriended 
America in its time of need. 

"Happy am I, my good friend," writes he to the mar- 
quis, "that, amid all the tremendous tempests which have 
assailed your political ship, you have had address and forti- 
tude enough to steer her hitherto safely through the quick- 
sands and rocks which threatened instant destruction on 
every side ; and that your young king, in all things, seems 
so well disposed to conform to the wishes of the nation. In 
such an important, such a hazardous voyage, when every- 
thing dear and sacred is embarked, you know full well my 
best wishes have never left you for a moment. Yet I will 
avow that the accounts we received through the English 
papers, which were sometimes our only channels of infor- 

188 U/or^s of U/asl?ir)$tor) Iruir)$ 

mation, caused our fears of failure almost to exceed our 
expectations of success." 

Those fears were not chimerical ; for, at the very time he 
penned this letter, the Jacobin club of Paris had already sent 
forth ramifications throughout France; corresponding clubs 
were springing up by hundreds in the provinces, and every- 
thing was hurrying forward to a violent catastrophe. 

Three days after the dispatch of the last-cited letter, and 
two days after the adjournment of Congress, Washington, 
accompanied by Mr. Jefferson, departed by water on a visit 
to Rhode Island, which State had recently acceded to the 
Union. He was cordially welcomed by the inhabitants, and 
returned to New York, after an absence of ten days, whence 
he again departed for his beloved Mount Vernon, there to 
cast off public cares as much as possible, and enjoy the 
pleasures of the country during the residue of the recess 
of Congress. 


Frontier Difficulties with the Indians— General Harmer's Expedi- 
tion against them — Ambuscade of Col. Hardin's Detachment — 
Escape of Capt. Armstrong— A second Detachment of Col. 
Hardin compelled to retreat — Washington's long Anxiety as 
to the Result of the Enterprise— Final Tidings 

Frequent depredations had of late been made on bur 
frontier settlements by what "Washington termed "certain 
banditti of Indians" from the northwest side of the Ohio. 
Some of our people had been massacred and others carried 
into deplorable captivity. 

Strict justice and equity had always formed the basis of 
"Washington's dealings with the Indian tribes, and he had 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$toi) 189 

endeavored to convince them that such was the general 
policy of our government; but his efforts were often 
thwarted by the conduct of our own people; the encroach- 
ments of land speculators and the lawless conduct of our 
frontiersmen ; and jealousies thus excited were fomented by 
the intrigues of foreign agents. 

The Indians of the "Wabash and the Miami Rivers, who 
were the present aggressors, were numerous, warlike, and 
not deficient in discipline. They were well armed also, ob- 
taining weapons and ammunition from the posts which the 
British still retained within the territories of the United 
States, contrary to the treaty of peace. 

"Washington had deprecated a war with these savages, 
whom he considered acting under delusion ; but finding all 
pacific overtures unavailing, and rather productive of more 
daring atrocities, he felt compelled to resort to it, alike by 
motives of policy, humanity and justice. An act had been 
provided for emergencies by which the President was em- 
powered to call out the militia for the protection of the fron- 
tier ; this act he put in force in the interval of Congress ; and 
under it an expedition was set on foot, which began its march 
on the 30th of September from Fort "Washington (which stood 
on the site of the present city of Cincinnati). Brigadier-gen- 
eral Harmer, a veteran of the Revolution, led the expedition, 
having under him three hundred and twenty regulars, with 
militia detachments from Pennsylvania and Virginia (or 
Kentucky), making in all fourteen hundred and fifty- three 
men. After a march of seventeen days, they approached 
the principal village of the Miamis. The Indians did not 
await an attack, but set fire to the village and fled to the 
woods. The destruction of the place, with that of large 
quantities of provisions, was completed. 

190 U/orKs of U/asI?ip^toi) Iruii?^ 

An Indian trail being discovered, Colonel Hardin, a Con- 
tinental officer who commanded the Kentucky militia, was 
detached to follow it, at the head of one hundred and fifty 
of his men, and about thirty regulars, under Captain Arm- 
strong and Ensign Hartshorn. They followed the trail for 
about six miles, and were crossing a plain covered by thick- 
ets, when suddenly there were volleys of rifles on each side 
from unseen marksmen, accompanied by the horrid war- 
whoop. The trail had, in fact, decoyed them into an am- 
bush of seven hundred savages, under the famous warrior 
Little Turtle. The militia fled, without firing a musket. 
The savages now turned upon the little handful of regulars, 
who stood their ground, and made a brave resistance with 
the bayonet until all were slain, excepting Captain Arm- 
strong, Ensign Hartshorn and five privates. The ensign 
was saved by falling behind a log, which screened him from 
his pursuers. Armstrong plunged into a swamp, where he 
sank up to his neck, and remained for several hours in the 
night within two hundred yards of the field of action, a 
spectator of the war-dance of the savages over the slain. 
The two officers who escaped thus narrowly found their way 
back to the camp, about six miles distant.* 

The army, notwithstanding, effected the main purpose of 
the expedition in laying waste the Indian villages and de- 
stroying their winter's stock of provisions, after which it 
commenced its march back to Fort Washington. On the 
21st of October, when it was halted about ten miles to the 
west of Chillicothe, an opportunity was given Colonel Hardin 
to wipe out the late disgrace of his arms. He was detached 
with a larger body of militia than before, and sixty regulars, 
under Major "Willys, to seek and bring the savages to action, 
* Butler's History of Kentucky, 192. 

Cife of \JJa&\)ir)$tOT) 191 

The accounts of these Indian wars are very confused. It 
appears, however, that he had another encounter with Little 
Turtle and his braves. It was a bloody battle, fought well 
on both sides. The militia behaved bravely, and lost many 
men and officers, as did the regulars; Major Willys fell at 
the commencement of the action. Colonel Hardin was at 
length compelled to retreat, leaving the dead and wounded 
in the hands of the enemy. After he had rejoined the main 
force, the whole expedition made its way back to Fort Wash- 
ington, on the banks of the Ohio. 

During all this time Washington had been rusticating at 
Mount Vernon, in utter ignorance of the events of this expe- 
dition. Week after week elapsed without any tidings of its 
issue, progress, or even commencement. On the 2d of No- 
vember, he wrote to the Secretary of War (General Knox), 
expressing his surprise at this lack of information, and his 
anxiety as to the result of the enterprise, and requesting him 
to forward any official or other accounts that he might have 
relating to it. 

"This matter,'' observed he, "favorable or otherwise in 
the issue, will be required to be laid before Congress, that 
the motives which induced the expedition may appear." 
Nearly another month elapsed; the time for the reassem- 
bling of Congress was at hand, yet Washington was still 
without the desired information. It was not until the last 
of November that he received a letter from Governor George 
Clinton, of New York, communicating particulars of the 
affair, related to him by Brant, the celebrated Indian chief. 

"If the information of Captain Brant be true," wrote 
Washington in reply, "the issue of the expedition against 
the Indians will indeed prove unfortunate and disgraceful to 
the troops who suffered themselves to be ambuscaded." 

192 U/orKs of \Uas\)iT)$tOT) Irvip$ 


Congress reassembles at Philadelphia — Residence of Washington at 
the new Seat of Government — The State Carriage — Hamilton's 
Financial Arrangements — Impost and Excise Bill — Passage of 
a Bill for a National Bank — Jefferson's Objections— Formation 
of two Political Parties under Hamilton and Jefferson — Their 
different Views — Dissatisfaction of Congress at the Report of 
Harmer's Expedition — Washington's Address to the Seneca 
Chiefs — His Desire to civilize the Savages — Kentucky and Ver- 
mont admitted into the Union — First Congress expires — A new 
Expedition projected against the Hostile Tribes under General 
St. Clair — Washington's Solemn Warning on taking Leave of 

Congress reassembled, according to adjournment, on the 
first Monday in December, at Philadelphia, which was now, 
for a time, the seat of government. A house belonging to 
Mr. Robert Morris, the financier, had been hired by Wash- 
ington for his residence, and, at his request, had undergone 
additions and alterations, in a plain and neat, and not by 
any means in an extravagant style. 

His secretary, Mr. Lear, had made every preparation for 
his arrival and accommodation, and, among other things, 
had spoken of the rich and elegant style in which the state 
carriage was fitted up. "I had rather have heard," replied 
Washington, "that my coach was plain and elegant than 
rich and elegant." 

Congress, at its opening, was chiefly occupied in financial 
arrangements, intended to establish the public credit and pro- 
vide for the expenses of government. According to the state- 
ment of the Secretary of the Treasury, an additional annual 

Cife of U/a8f?ir)$tor> 193 

revenue of eight hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars 
would be required, principally to meet the additional charges 
arising from the assumption of the State debts. He proposed 
to raise it by an increase of the impost on foreign distilled 
spirits, and a tax by way of excise on spirits distilled at home. 
An Impost and Excise bill was accordingly introduced into 
Congress, and met with violent opposition. An attempt was 
made to strike out the excise, but failed, and the whole bill 
was finally carried through the House. 

Mr. Hamilton, in his former Treasury report, had recom- 
mended the establishment of a National Bank ; he now, in a 
special report, urged the policy of the measure. A bill in- 
troduced in conformity with his views was passed in the 
Senate, but vehemently opposed in the House ; partly on con- 
siderations of policy ; but chiefly on the ground of constitu- 
tionality. On one side it was denied that the constitution 
had given to Congress the power of incorporation; on the 
other side it was insisted that such power was incident to 
the power vested in Congress for raising money. 

The question was argued at length, and with great ardor, 
and after passing the House of Representatives by a major- 
ity of nineteen votes, came before the executive for his ap- 
proval. Washington was fully alive to the magnitude of 
the question and the interest felt in it by the opposing par- 
ties. The cabinet was divided on it. Jefferson and Ran- 
dolph denied its constitutionality ; Hamilton and Knox main- 
tained it. Washington required of each minister the reasons 
of his opinion in writing ; and, after maturely weighing them, 
gave his sanction to the act, and the bill was carried into 

The objection of J'efferson to a bank was not merely on 

constitutional grounds. In his subsequent writings he avows 

Vol. XV.-***9 

194 U/orl^g of U/asf?ip<$toi> Iruir>$ 

himself opposed to banks, as introducing a paper instead of 
a cash system — raising up a moneyed aristocracy, and aban- 
doning the public to the discretion of avarice and swindlers. 
Paper money might have some advantages, but its abuses 
were inevitable, and by breaking up the measure of value, 
it made a lottery of all private property. These objections 
he maintained to his dying day ; but he had others, which 
might have been more cogent with him in the present in- 
stance. He considered the bank as a powerful engine intended 
by Hamilton to complete the machinery by which the whole 
action of the legislature was to be placed under the direction 
of the Treasury, and shaped to further a monarchial system 
of government. Washington, he affirmed, was not aware of 
the drift or effect of Hamilton's schemes. " Unversed in 
financial projects and calculations and budgets, his approba- 
tion of them was bottomed on his confidence in the man." 

Washington, however, was not prone to be swayed in his 
judgments by blind partiality. When he distrusted his own 
knowledge in regard to any important measure, he asked the 
written opinions of those of his council who he thought were 
better informed, and examined and weighed them, and put 
them to the test of his almost unfailing sagacity. This was 
the way he had acted as a general, in his military councils, 
and he found the same plan efficacious in his cabinet. His 
confidence in Hamilton's talents, information and integrity 
nad led him to seek his counsels ; but his approbation of those 
counsels was bottomed on a careful investigation of them. 
It was the same in regard to the counsels of Jefferson ; they 
were received with great deference, but always deliberately 
and scrupulously weighed. The opposite policy of these 
rival statesmen brought them into incessant collision. 
"Hamilton and myself," writes Jefferson, "were daily 

Cife of U/asl?iQ$tor) 195 

pitted in the cabinet like two cocks.' ' The warm-hearted 
Knox always sided with his old companion in arms; whose 
talents he revered. He is often noticed with a disparaging 
sneer by Jefferson, in consequence. Randolph commonly 
adhered to the latter. Washington's calm and massive in- 
tellect overruled any occasional discord. His policy with 
regard to his constitutional advisers has been happily esti- 
mated by a modern statesman : ' ' He sought no unit cabinet, 
according to the set phrase of succeeding times. He asked 
no suppression of sentiment, no concealment of opinion ; he 
exhibited no mean jealousy of high talent in others. He 
gathered around him the greatest public men of that day, 
and some of them to be ranked with the greatest of any day. 
He did not leave Jefferson and Hamilton without the cab- 
inet, to shake, perhaps, the whole fabric of government in 
their fierce wars and rivalries, but he took them within, 
where he himself might arbitrate their disputes as they 
arose, and turn to the best account for the country their 
suggestions as they were made." * 

In the meantime two political parties were forming 
throughout the Union, under the adverse standards of 
these statesmen. Both had the good of the country at 
heart, but differed as to the policy by which it was to be 
secured. The Federalists, who looked up to Hamilton as 
their model, were in favor of strengthening the general gov- 
ernment so as to give it weight and dignity abroad and ef- 
ficiency at home ; to guard it against the encroachments of 
the individual States and a general tendency to anarchy. 
The other party, known as republicans or democrats, and 
taking Mr. Jefferson's view of affairs, saw, in all the meas- 

* Speech of R M. T. Hunter, of Virginia. 

19G U/orKs of U/asl?iD$toi? Irving 

ures advocated by the Federalists, an intention to convert 
the Federal into a great central or consolidated government, 
preparatory to a change from a republic to a monarchy. 

The particulars of General Harmer's expedition against 
the Indians, when reported to Congress, gave great dissatis- 
faction. The conduct of the troops, in suffering themselves 
to be surprised, was for some time stigmatized as disgraceful. 
Further troubles in that quarter were apprehended, for the 
Miamis were said to be less disheartened by the ravage 
of their villages than exultant at the successful ambuscades 
of Little Turtle. 

Three Seneca chiefs, Cornplanter, Half Town, and Great 
Tree, being at the seat of government on business of their 
own nation, offered to visit these belligerent tribes, and 
persuade them to bury the hatchet. Washington, in a set 
speech, encouraged them in the undertaking. "By this 
humane measure," said he, "you will render these mistaken 
people a great service, and probably prevent their being 
swept off the face of the earth. The United States require 
only that these people should demean themselves peaceably. 
But they may be assured that the United States are able, 
and will most certainly punish them severely for all their 
robberies and murders.' ■ 

Washington had always been earnest in his desire to 
civilize the savages, but had little faith in the expedient 
which had been pursued, of sending their young men to 
our colleges; the true means, he thought, was to introduce 
the arts and habits of husbandry among them. In conclud- 
ing his speech to the Seneca chiefs, he observed, "When you 
return to your country, tell your nation that it is my desire 
to promote their prosperity by teaching them the use of do- 
mestic animals, and the manner in which the white people 

Cife of U/a8f?ii><$too 197 

plow and raise so much corn; and if, upon consideration, 
it would be agreeable to the nation at large to learn thos© 
arts, I will find some means of teaching them at such places 
within their country as shall be agreed upon." 

In the course of the present session, Congress received 
and granted the applications of Kentucky and Vermont for 
admission into the Union, the former after August, 1792; 
the latter immediately. 

On the 3d of March the term of this first . Congress ex- 
pired. Washington, after reciting the various important 
measures that had been effected, testified to the great har- 
mony and cordiality which had prevailed. In some few 
instances, he admitted, particularly in passing the law for 
higher duties on spirituous liquors, and more especially on 
the subject of the bank, "the line between the southern and 
eastern interests had appeared more strongly marked than 
could be wished," the former against and the latter in favor 
of those measures, "but the debates," adds he, "were con- 
ducted with temper and candor." 

As the Indians on the northwest side of the Ohio still 
continued their hostilities, one of the last measures of Con- 
gress had been an act to augment the military establish- 
ments, and to place in the hands of the executive more 
ample means for the protection of the frontiers. A new 
expedition against the belligerent tribes had, in consequence, 
been projected. General St. Clair, actually governor of the 
territory west of the Ohio, was appointed commander-in- 
chief of the forces to be employed. 

"Washington had been deeply chagrined by the mortify- 
ing disasters of General Harmer's expedition to the Wabash, 
resulting from Indian ambushes. In taking leave of his 
old military comrade, St. Clair, he wished him success and 

198 U/orl^s of U/asbio^ton Irvir;$ 

honor, but gave him a solemn warning. "You have your 
instructions from the Secretary of War. I had a strict eye 
to them, and will add but one word — Beware of a surprise ! 
You know how the Indians fight. I repeat it — Beware of a 
surprise!" With these warning words sounding in his ear, 
St. Clair departed.* 


Washington's Tour through the Southern States— Letter to La- 
fayette — Gloomy Picture of French Affairs by Gouverneur 
Morris — His Allusion to Lafayette — Lafayette depicts the 
Troubles of a Patriot Leader — Washington's Reply — Jefferson's 
ardent Views of the French Revolution — Distrust of John 
Adams — His Contributions to "Fenno's Gazette" — Reprint of 
Paine 's Rights of Man — Flight and Recapture of Louis XVI. — 
Jefferson communicates the News to Washington — His satisfac- 
tion when the King accepts the Constitution 

In the month of March, Washington set out on a tour 
through the Southern States; traveling with cne set of 
horses and making occasional halts. The route projected, 
and of which he had marked off the halting places, was 
by Fredericksburg, Richmond, Wilmington (N. C), and 
Charleston to Savannah; thence to Augusta, Columbia, 
and the interior towns of North Carolina and Virginia, 
comprising a journey of eighteen hundred and eighty-seven 
miles; all which he accomplished without any interruption 
from sickness, bad weather, or any untoward accident. "In- 
deed," writes he, "so highly were we favored that we 
arrived at each place where I proposed to make any halt 
on the very day I fixed upon before we set out. The same 

Rush's "Washington in Domestic Life, p. 67. 

Cife of U/asl?iQ<$toi) 199 

horses performed the whole tour; and, although much re- 
duced in flesh, kept up their full spirits to the last day." 

He returned to Philadelphia on the 6th of July, much 
pleased with his tour. It had enabled him, he said, to see 
with his own eyes the situation of the country, and to learn 
more accurately the disposition of the people than he could 
have done from any verbal information. He had looked 
around him, in fact, with a paternal eye, been cheered as 
usual by continual demonstrations of a nation's love, and 
his heart had warmed with the reflection how much of this 
national happiness had been won by his own patriotic exer- 

" Every day's experience of the government of the United 
States," writes he to David Humphreys, " seems to confirm 
its establishment, and to render it more popular. A ready 
acquiescence in the laws made under it shows, in a strong 
light, the confidence which the people have in their repre- 
sentatives, and in the upright views of those who administer 
the government. At the time of passing a law imposing 
a duty on home-made spirits, it was vehemently affirmed 
by many that such a law could never be executed in the 
Southern States, particularly in Virginia and South Caro- 
lina. . . . But from the best information I could get on 
my journey respecting its operations on the minds of the 
people — and I took some pains to obtain information on this 
point —there remains not a doubt but it will be carried into 
effect, not only without opposition, but with very general 
approbation, in those very parts where it was foretold that 
it never would be submitted to by any one." 

"Our public credit," adds he, "stands on that ground, 
which, three years ago, it would have been madness to have 
foretold. The astonishing rapidity with which the newly 

200 U/orl^s of Il/as^ir^tor; Iruioq 

instituted bank was filled gives an unexampled proof of the 
resources of our countrymen, and their confidence in public 
measures. On the first day of opening the subscription the 
whole number of shares (twenty thousand) were taken up in 
one hour, and application made for upward of four thousand 
shares more than were granted by the institution, besides 
many others that were coming in from various quarters. ' ' * 

To his comrade in arms, Lafayette, he also writes exult- 
ingly of the flourishing state of the country and the attach- 
ment of all classes to the government : 

u While in Europe, wars or commotions seem to agitate 
almost every nation, peace and tranquillity prevail among 
us, except in some parts of our Western frontiers, where the 
Indians have been troublesome, to reclaim or chastise whom 
proper measures are now pursuing. This contrast between 
the situation of the people of the United States and those of 
Europe is too striking to be passed over, even by the most 
superficial observer, and may, I believe, be considered as one 
great cause of leading the people here to reflect more atten- 
tively on their own prosperous state, and to examine more 
minutely, and consequently approve more fully, of the gov- 
ernment under which they live, than they otherwise would 
have done. But we do not wish to be the only people who 
may taste the sweets of an equal and good government. We 
look with an anxious eye to the time when happiness and 
tranquillity shall prevail in your country, and when all Eu- 
rope shall be freed from commotion, tumults and alarms." 

Letters from Gouverneur Morris had given him a gloomy 
picture of French affairs. "This unhappy country," writes 
he, "bewildered in pursuit of metaphysical whimsies, pre- 

* Writings, x. 171. 

Cife of U/a8l?ii)$toi) 201 

sents to our moral view a mighty ruin. Like the remnants 
of ancient magnificence, we admire the architecture of the 
temple, while we detest the false god to whom it was dedi- 
cated. Daws and ravens, and the birds of night, now build 
their nests in its niches. The sovereign, humbled to the 
level of a beggar's pity, without resources, without author- 
ity, without a friend. The Assembly at once a master and 
a slave, new in power, wild in theory, raw in practice. It 
engrosses all functions, though incapable of exercising any, 
and has taken from this fierce, ferocious people every re- 
straint of religion and of respect. . . . Lafayette has hith- 
erto acted a splendid part. The king obeys but detests him. 
He obeys because he fears. "Whoever possesses the royal 
person may do whatever he pleases with the royal character 
and authority. Hence it happens that the ministers are of 
Lafayette's appointment." * 

Lafayette's own letters depict the troubles of a patriot 
leader in the stormy times of a revolution : a leader warm, 
generous, honest, impulsive, but not far-seeing. "I continue 
to be forever tossed about on an ocean of factions and com- 
motions of every kind ; for it is my fate to be attacked with 
equal animosity ; on one side, by all that is aristocratic, ser- 
vile, parliamentary, in a word, by all the adversaries of my 
free and leveling doctrine ; on the other, by the Orleans and 
anti-monarchial factions, and all the workers of disorder and 
pillage. If it is doubtful whether I may escape personally 
from so many enemies, the success of our grand and good 
revolution is, at least, thank Heaven, assured in France, and 
soon it will propagate itself in the rest of the world, if we 
succeed in establishing public order in this country. Un- 

* Sparks' Life of G. Morris, ii. 117-119. 

#02 U/orl^s of U/a8l?ir)<$tor) Iruio$ 

fortunately, the people have much better learned how to 
overturn despotism than to comprehend the duty of submis- 
sion to law. It is to you, my dear general, the patriarch 
and generalissimo of the promoters of universal liberty, that 
I ought always to render a faithful account of the conduct of 
your aid-de-camp in the service of this grand cause.' ■ 

And in a subsequent letter: "I would that I could give 
you the assurance that our troubles were terminated and our 
constitution established. Nevertheless, though our horizon 
is still very dark, we commence to foresee the moment when 
a new legislative body will replace this Assembly; and, un- 
less there come an intervention of foreign powers, I hope 
that four months from this your friend will have resumed 
the life of a peaceful and simple citizen. 

"The rage of party, even between the different shades of 
patriots, has gone as far as possible without the effusion of 
blood ; but if animosities are far from subsiding, present cir- 
cumstances are somewhat less menacing of a collision be- 
tween the different supporters of the popular cause. As to 
myself, I am always the butt for attacks of all parties, be- 
cause they see in my person an insurmountable obstacle to 
their evil designs. In the meantime, what appears to me a 
species of phenomenon, my popularity hitherto has not been 

And in another letter, he speaks of the multiplying dan- 
gers which menaced the progress of reform in France: "The 
refugees hovering about the frontiers, intrigues in most of 
the despotic and aristocratic cabinets, our regular army di- 
vided into tory officers and undisciplined soldiers, licentious • 
ness among the people not easily repressed, the capital, that 
gives the tone to the empire, tossed about by anti-revolution- 
ary or factious parties, the Assembly fatigued by hard labor, 

Cife of \UastyT)$tOT) 203 

and very unmanageable. However, according to the popu- 
lar motto, ga ira, it will do. ' ' 

When Lafayette thus wrote, faction was predominant at 
Paris. Liberty and equality began to be the watch-words, 
and the Jacobin club had set up a journal which was 
spreading the spirit of revolt and preparing the fate of 

"I assure you," writes Washington, "I have often con- 
templated, with great anxiety, the danger to which you are 
personally exposed by your peculiar and delicate situation in 
the tumult of the time, and your letters are far from quiet - 
ing that friendly concern. But to one who engages in haz- 
ardous enterprises for the good of his country, and who is 
guided by pure and upright views, as I am sure is the case 
with you, life is but a secondary consideration. 

"The tumultuous populace of large cities are ever to be 
dreaded. Their indiscriminate violence prostrates, for the 
time, all public authority, and its consequences are some- 
times extensive and terrible. In Paris, we may suppose 
these tumults are peculiarly disastrous at this time, when 
the public mind is in a ferment, and when, as is always the 
case on such occasions, there are not wanting wicked and 
designing men whose element is confusion, and who will 
not hesitate in destroying the public tranquillity to gain a 
favorite point.' ' 

Sympathy with the popular cause prevailed with a part 
of Washington's cabinet. Jefferson was ardent in his wishes 
that the revolution might be established. He felt, he said, 
that the permanence of our own revolution leaned, in some 
degree, on that of France; that a failure there would be a 
powerful argument to prove there must be a failure here, 
and that the success of the French revolution was necessary 

$04 U/orl^s of U/as^ip^tor) Iruir)$ 

to stay up our own and "prevent its falling back to that kind 
of half-way house, the English constitution." 

Outside of the cabinet, the Vice-President, John Adams, 
regarded the French revolution with strong distrust. His 
official position, however, was too negative in its nature to 
afford him an opportunity of exerting influence on public 
affairs. He considered the post of Vice-President beneath 
his talents. "My country," writes he, "has, in its wisdom, 
contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the 
invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived." * 
Impatient of a situation in which, as he said, he could do 
neither good nor evil, he resorted, for mental relief, to the 
press, and for upward of a year had exercised his fertile and 
ever ready pen in furnishing "Fenno's Gazette of the United 
States" with a series of papers entitled, Discourses on Davi- 
la, being an analysis of Davila's History of the Civil Ware 
of France in the 16th century. The aim of Mr. Adams, in 
this series, was to point out to his countrymen the dangers 
to be apprehended from powerful factions in ill-balanced 
forms of government; but his aim was mistaken, and he 
was charged with advocating monarchy, and laboring to 
prepare the way for a hereditary presidency. To counter- 
act these "political heresies," a reprint of Paine's Rights of 
Man, written in reply to Burke's pamphlet on the French 
revolution, appeared under the auspices of Mr. Jefferson. 

While the public mind was thus agitated with conflicting 
opinions, news arrived in August, of the flight of Louis XVI. 
from Paris, and his recapture at Varennes. All Jefferson's 
hatred of royalty was aroused by this breach of royal faith. 
"Such are the fruits of that form of government," said he, 

* Life, i. 460. 

Cife of U/a8l?ii7<$toi? £05 

scornfully, "which heaps importance on idiots, and which 
the tories of the present day are trying to preach into our 
favor. It would be unfortunate were it in the power of any 
one man to defeat the issue of so beautiful a revolution. I 
hope and trust that it is not, and that, for the good of suf- 
fering humanity all over the earth, that revolution will be 
established and spread all over the world." 

He was the first to communicate the intelligence to "Wash- 
ington, who was holding one of his levees, and observes, "I 
never saw him so much dejected by any event in my life." 
Washington himself declares that he remained for some time 
in painful suspense, as to what would be the consequences of 
this event. Ultimately, when news arrived that the king 
had accepted the constitution from the hands of the National 
Assembly, he hailed the event as promising happy conse- 
quences to France and to mankind in general; and what 
added to his joy was the noble and disinterested part which 
his friend, Lafayette, had acted in this great drama. "The 
prayers and wishes of the human race," writes he to the 
marquis, "have attended the exertions of your nation; and 
when your affairs are settled under an energetic and equal 
government, the hearts of all good men will be satisfied." 

206 U/orKs of U/asl?in$toi) Irving 


Rural Hours at Mount Vernon — Assembling of Second Congress — 
Washington's opening Speech — Two Expeditions organized 
against the Indians, under Scott and Wilkinson — Their feeble 
Result — Third Expedition under St. Clair — His disastrous Con- 
test and dismal Retreat — How Washington received the In- 

A few weeks of autumn were passed by Washington at 
Mount Vernon, with his family, in rural enjoyment, and in 
instructing a new agent, Mr. Robert Lewis, in the manage- 
ment of his estate ; his nephew, Major George A. Washing- 
ton, who ordinarily attended to his landed concerns, being 
absent among the mountains in quest of health. 

The second Congress assembled at Philadelphia on the 
24th of October, and on the 25th Washington delivered his 
opening speech. After remarking upon the prosperous situ- 
ation of the country, and the success which had attended its 
financial measures, he adverted to the offensive operations 
against the Indians, which government had been compelled 
to adopt for the protection of the Western frontier. Some of 
these operations, he observed, had been successful, others 
were still depending. A brief statement will be sufficient of 
the successful operations alluded to. To reconcile some of 
the people of the West to the appointment of General St. 
Clair as commander-in-chief in that quarter, a local board of 
war had been formed for the Western country, empowered 
to act in conjunction with the commanding officer of, the 
United States, in calling out the militia, sending out expe- 

Cife of U/asl?ir)$toD 207 

ditions against the Indians, and apportioning scouts through 
the exposed parts of the district of Kentucky. 

Under this arrangement, two expeditions had been organ- 
ized in Kentucky against the villages on the Wabash. The 
first, in May, was led by General Charles Scott, having Gen- 
eral Wilkinson as second in command The second, a vol- 
unteer enterprise, in August, was led by Wilkinson alone. 
Very little good was effected, or glory gained by either of 
these expeditions. Indian villages and wigwams were 
burned, and fields laid waste; some few warriors were 
killed and prisoners taken, and an immense expense in- 

Of the events of a third enterprise, led by General St. 
Clair himself, no tidings had been received at the time of 
Washington's opening speech; but we will anticipate the 
official dispatches, and proceed to show how it fared with 
that veteran soldier, and how far he profited by the impres- 
sive warning which he had received from the President at 

The troops for his expedition assembled early in Septem- 
ber, in the vicinity of Fort Washington (now Cincinnati). 
There were about two thousand regulars, and one thousand 
militia. The regulars included a corps of artillery and sev- 
eral squadrons of horse. An arduous task was before them. 
Roads were to be opened through a wilderness; bridges con- 
structed for the conveyance of artillery and stores, and forts 
to be built so as to keep up a line of communication between 
the Wabash and the Ohio, the base of operations. The 
troops commenced their march directly north, on the 6th or 
7th of September, cutting their way through the woods, and 
slowly constructing the line of forts. The little army, on the 
24th of October, according to the diary of an officer, was re- 

208 U/or^s of U/as^ir)<$tor) IrviQ$ 

spectable in numbers— "upon paper" — but, adds he, "the 
absence of the first regiment, and desertions from the mili- 
tia, had very much reduced us. With the residue there was 
too generally wanting the essential stamina of soldiers. 
Picked up and recruited from the off-scourings of large 
towns and cities, enervated by idleness, debauchery, and 
every species of vice, it was impossible they could have been 
made competent to the arduous duties of Indian warfare. 
An extraordinary aversion to service was also conspicuous 
among them and demonstrated by repeated desertions; in 
many instances, to the very foe we were to combat. The 
late period at which they had been brought into the field left 
no leisure nor opportunity to discipline them. They were, 
moreover, badly clothed, badly paid, and badly fed. . . . 
The military stores and arms were sent on in infamous or- 
der. Notwithstanding pointed orders against firing, and a 
penalty of one hundred lashes, game was so plenty and pre- 
sented such a strong temptation that the militia and the 
levies were constantly offending, to the great injury of the 
service and the destruction of all order in the army." * 

After placing garrisons in the forts, the general continued 
his march. It was a forced one with him, for he was so 
afflicted with the gout that he could not walk, and had to be 
helped on and off of his horse; but his only chance to keep 
his little army together was to move on. A number of the 
Virginia troops had already, on the 27th of October, insisted 
on their discharges; there was danger that the whole bat- 
talion would follow their example, and the time of the other 
battalions was nearly up. The plan of the general was to 

* Diary of Col. Winthrop Sargent, Adjutant-general of 
the U. S. army during the campaign of 1791. 

Cife of U/a8f?ir)<$tor) 209 

push go far into the enemy's country that such detachments 
as might be entitled to their discharges would be afraid to 

The army had proceeded six days after leaving Fort Jef- 
ferson, and were drawing near a part of the country where 
they were likely to meet with Indians, when, on the 30th of 
October, sixty of the militia deserted in a body ; intending to 
supply themselves by plundering the convoys of provisions 
which were coming forward in the rear. The 1st United 
States regiment, under Major Hamtranck, was detached to 
march back beyond Fort Jefferson, apprehend these desert- 
ers, if possible, and at all events prevent the provisions that 
might be on the way from being rifled. The force thus de- 
tached consisted of three hundred of the best disciplined men 
in the service, with experienced officers. 

Thus reduced to 1,400 effective rank and file, the army 
continued its march to a point about twenty-nine miles from 
Fort Jefferson, and ninety-seven from Fort "Washington, 
and fifteen miles south of the Miami villages, where it en- 
camped, November 3d, on a rising ground with a stream 
forty feet wide in front, running westerly. This stream 
was mistaken by General St. Clair for the St. Mary, which 
empties itself into the Miami of the lakes; but it was, in 
fact, a tributary of the Wabash. 

A number of new and old Indian camps showed that this 
had been a place of general resort ; and in the bends of the 
stream were tracks of a party of fifteen, horse and foot; a 
scouting party most probably, which must have quitted the 
ground just before the arrival of the army. 

The troops were encamped in two lines, the right wing 
composed of Butler, Clarke and Patterson's battalions, com- 
manded by Major-general Butler, forming the first line; Pat- 

81 U/or^s of U/a6f?ir)$tor) Irvio$ 

terson on the right, and four pieces of artillery on the right 
of Butler. The left wing, consisting of Beddinger and Gaith- 
er's battalions, and the second United States regiment, com- 
manded by Colonel Darke, formed the second line; with an 
interval of about seventy yards, which was all that the 
ground allowed. The length of the lines was nearly four 
hundred yards; the rear somewhat more, and the front 
somewhat less. A troop of horse, commanded by Captain 
Truman, and a company of riflemen under Captain Faulk- 
ner, were upon the right flank, and Snowden's troop of horse 
on the left. 

The ground descended gradually in front of the encamp- 
ment to the stream, which, at this time, was fordable, and 
meandered in its course ; in some places, one hundred yards 
distant from the camp, in others not more than twenty-five. 
The immediate spot of the encampment was very defensible 
against regular troops ; but it was surrounded by close woods, 
dense thickets, and the trunks of fallen trees, with here and 
there a ravine, and a small swamp — all the best kind of cover 
for stealthy Indian warfare. 

The militia were encamped beyond the stream about a 
quarter of a mile in the advance, on a high flat; a much 
more favorable position than that occupied by the main 
body; and capacious enough to have accommodated the 
whole, and admitted any extent of lines. 

It was the intention of St. Clair to throw up a slight 
work on the following day, and to move on to the attack of 
the Indian villages as soon as he should be rejoined by Ma- 
jor Hamtranck and the first United States regiment. The 
plan of this work he concerted in the evening with Major 
Ferguson of the artillery, a cool, indefatigable, determined 
man. In the meantime, Colonel Oldham, the commanding 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$toi) 21 L 

officer of the militia, was directed to send out two detach- 
ments that evening, to explore the country and gain informa- 
tion concerning the enemy. The militia, however, showed 
signs of insubordination. They complained of being too 
much fatigued for the purpose; in short, the service was 
not, and probably could not be, enforced. Sentinels posted 
around the camp, about fifty paces distant from each other, 
formed the principal security. 

About half an hour before sunrise on the next morning 
(Nov. 4th), and just after the troops had been dismissed on 
parade, a horrible sound burst forth from the woods around 
the militia camp, resembling, says an officer, the jangling of 
an infinitude of horse bells. It was the direful Indian yell, 
followed by the sharp reports of the deadly rifle. The mi- 
litia returned a feeble fire and then took to flight, dashing 
helter-skelter into the other camp. The first line of the Con- 
tinental troops, which was hastily forming, was thrown into 
disorder. The Indians were close upon the heels of the fly- 
ing militia, and would have entered the camp with them, but 
the sight of troops drawn up with fixed bayonets to receive 
them checked their ardor, and they threw themselves be- 
hind logs and bushes at the distance of seventy yards; and 
immediately commenced an attack upon the first line, which 
soon was extended to the second. The great weight of the 
attack was upon the center of each line where the artillery 
was placed. The artillery, if not well served, was bravely 
fought; a quantity of canister and some round shot were 
thrown in the direction whence the Indians fired ; but, con- 
cealed as they were, and only seen occasionally as they 
sprang from one covert to another, it was impossible to di- 
rect the pieces to advantage. The artillerists themselves 
were exposed to a murderous fire, and every officer, and 

212 U/or^s of U/a8fyir?<$tor) Iruir>^ 

more than two-thirds of the men were killed and wounded. 
Twice the Indians pushed into the camp, delivering their 
fire and then rushing on with the tomahawk, but each time 
they were driven back. General Butler had been shot from 
his horse, and was sitting down to have his wound dressed, 
when a daring savage, darting into the camp, tomahawked 
and scalped him. He failed to carry off his trophy, being 
instantly slain. 

The veteran St. Clair, who, unable to mount his horse, 
was borne about on a litter, preserved his coolness in the 
midst of the peril and disaster, giving his orders with judg- 
ment and self-possession. Seeing to what disadvantage his 
troops fought with a concealed enemy, he ordered Colonel 
Darke, with his regiment of regulars, to rouse the Indians 
from their covert with the bayonet, and turn their left flank. 
This was executed with great spirit : the enemy were driven 
three or four hundred yards; but, for want of cavalry or 
riflemen, the pursuit slackened, and the troops were forced 
to give back in turn. The savages had now got into the 
camp by the left flank; again several charges were made, 
but in vain. Great carnage was suffered from the enemy 
concealed in the woods ; every shot seemed to take effect ; all 
the officers of the second regiment were picked off excepting 
three. The contest had now endured for more than two 
hours and a half. The spirits of the troops flagged under 
the loss of the officers ; half of the army was killed, and the 
situation of the remainder was desperate. There appeared 
to be no alternative but a retreat. 

At half-past nine, General St. Clair ordered Colonel 
Darke, with the second regiment, to make another charge, 
as if to turn the right wing of the enemy, but, in fact, to re- 
gain the road from which the army was cut off. This object 

Cife of U/a8f?ii)$top 2l3 

was effected. " Having collected in one body the greatest 
part of the troops," writes one of the officers, "and such of 
the wounded as could possibly hobble along with us, we 
pushed out from the left of the rear line, sacrificing our ar- 
tillery and baggage." Some of the wounded officers were 
brought off on horses, but several of the disabled men had 
to be left on the ground. The poor fellows charged their 
pieces before they were left: and the firing of musketry 
heard by the troops after they quitted the camp told that 
their unfortunate comrades were selling their lives dear. 

It was a disorderly flight. The troops threw away arms, 
ammunition and accouterments ; even the officers, in some 
instances, divested themselves of their fusees. The general 
was mounted on a pack horse which could not be pricked 
out of a walk. Fortunately, the enemy did not pursue 
above a mile or two, returning, most probably, to plunder 
the camp. 

By seven in the evening, the fugitives reached Fort Jef- 
ferson, a distance of twenty-nine miles. Here they met Ma- 
jor Hamtranck with the first regiment; but, as this force 
was far from sufficient to make up for the losses of the morn- 
ing, the retreat was continued to Fort "Washington, where 
the army arrived on the 8th at noon, shattered and broken - 
spirited. Many poor fellows fell behind in the retreat, and 
fancying the savages were upon them, left the road, and 
some of them were wandering several days, until nearly 

In this disastrous battle the whole loss of regular troops 
and levies amounted to five hundred and fifty killed, and 
two hundred wounded. Out of ninety-five commissioned 
officers who were on the field, thirty-one were slain and 
twenty-four wounded. Of the three hundred and nineteen 

214 U/orl^s of Wa&\)\r)$tOT) Irufr;$ 

militia, Colonel Oldham and three other officers were killed 
and five wounded ; and of non-commissioned officers and pri- 
vates, thirty-eight were killed and twenty-nine wounded. 
Fourteen artificers and ten pack horsemen were also killed, 
and thirteen wounded. So that, according to Colonel Sar- 
gent's estimate, the whole loss amounted to six hundred and 
seventy-seven killed, including thirty women, and two hun- 
dred and seventy-one wounded. 

Poor St. Clair's defeat has been paralleled with that of 
Braddock. No doubt, when he realized the terrible havoc 
that had been made, he thought sadly of Washington's part- 
ing words, "Beware of a surprise!" 

We have a graphic account of the manner in which the 
intelligence of the disaster was received by Washington, at 
Philadelphia. Toward the close of a winter's day in De- 
cember, an officer in uniform dismounted in front of the 
President's house, and, giving the bridle to his servant, 
knocked at the door. He was informed by the porter that 
the President was at dinner and had company. The officer 
was not to be denied ; he was on public business, he brought 
dispatches for the President. A servant was sent into the 
dining-room to communicate the matter to Mr. Lear. The 
latter left the table and went into the hall, where the officer 
repeated what he had said to the porter. Mr. Lear, as secre- 
tary of the President, offered to take charge of the dispatches 
and deliver them at the proper time. The officer replied that 
he was just arrived from the Western army; his orders were 
to deliver the dispatches promptly to the President in person ; 
but that he would wait his directions. Mr. Lear returned, 
and, in a whisper, communicated to the President what had 
passed. Washington rose from the table and went into the 
hall, whence he returned in a short time and resumed his 

Cife of U/asl?iD<$toi> 215 

seat, apologizing for his absence, but without alluding to the 
cause of it. One of the company, however, overheard him, 
as he took his seat, mutter to himself, with an ejaculation of 
extreme impatience, "I knew it would be so!" 

Mrs. Washington held her drawing-room that evening. 
The gentlemen repaired thither from the table. Washing- 
ton appeared there with his usual serenity; speaking courte- 
ously to every lady, as was his custom. By ten o'clock all 
the company had gone; Mrs. Washington retired soon after, 
and Washington and his secretary alone remained. 

The general walked slowly backward and forward for 
some minutes in silence. As yet there had been no change 
in his manner. Taking a seat on a sofa by the fire he told 
Mr. Lear to sit down ; the latter had scarce time to notice 
that he was extremely agitated, when he broke out suddenly: 
"It's all over! — St. Clair's defeated ! —routed : the officers 
nearly all killed, the men by wholesale ; the rout complete ; 
too shocking to think of, and a surprise into the bargain!" 
All this was uttered with great vehemence. Then pausing 
and rising from the sofa, he walked up and down the room 
in silence, violently agitated, but saying nothing. When 
near the door he stopped short; stood still for a few mo- 
ments, when there was another terrible explosion of wrath. 

"Yes," exclaimed he, "here, on this very spot, I took 
leave of him; I wished him success and honor. 'You have 
your instructions from the Secretary of War,' said I, 'I had 
a strict eye to them, and will add but one word, Beware of 
a surprise ! You know how the Indians fight us. I re- 
peat it, Beware of a surprise!' He went off with that. 
my last warning, thrown into his ears. And yet!! To 
suffer that army to be cut to pieces, hacked, butchered, 
tomahawked, by a surprise — the very thing 1 guarded him 

216 U/orl^s of XJJas\)ir)$tOT) Iruip^ 

Against— Oh God! oh God!" exclaimed he, throwing up his 
hands, and while his very frame shook with emotion, "he's 
worse than a murderer ! How can he answer it to his coun- 
try ! The blood of the slain is upon him — the curse of wid- 
ows and orphans — the curse of Heaven!" 

Mr. Lear remained speechless; awed into breathless si- 
lence by the appalling tones in which this torrent of invective 
was poured forth. The paroxysm passed by. Washington 
again sat down on the sofa — he was silent — apparently un- 
comfortable, as if conscious of the ungovernable burst of 
passion which had overcome him. "This must not go be- 
yond this room," said he at length, in a subdued and altered 
tone — there was another and a longer pause ; then, in a tone 
quite low: "General St. Clair shall have justice," said he. 
"I looked hastily through the dispatches; saw the whole dis- 
aster, but not all the particulars. I will receive him without 
displeasure; I will hear him without prejudice; he shall have 
full justice." * 

"Washington had recovered his equanimity. * * The storm, ' ' 
we are told, "was over, and no sign of it was afterward seen 
in his conduct or heard in his conversation." How well he 
kept his word in regard to General St. Clair will hereafter 
be shown. 

* Rush's "Washington in Domestic Life. 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$tor) 217 


The Apportionment Bill — Washington's Veto — His Concern at the 
growing Asperities of Congress — Intended Retirement — Jeffer- 
son's determination to retire at the same Time —Remonstrance 
of Washington— His Request to Madison to prepare Valedictory 
— Wayne appointed to succeed St. Clair — Congress adjourns — 
Washington at Mount Vernon — Suggests Topics for his Fare- 
well Address — Madison's Draft — Jefferson urges his continu- 

In the course of the present session of Congress a bill 
was introduced for apportioning representatives among the 
people of the several States, according to the first enu- 

The constitution had provided that the number of repre- 
sentatives should not exceed one for every thirty thousand 
persons, and the House of Representatives passed a bill allot- 
ting to each State one member for this amount of population. 
This ratio would leave a fraction, greater or less, in each 
State. Its operation was unequal, as in some States a large 
surplus would be unrepresented, and hence, in one branch of 
the legislature, the relative power of the State be affected. 
That, too, was the popular branch, which those who feared 
a strong executive desired to provide with the counterpoise 
of as full a representation as possible. 

To obviate this difficulty the Senate adopted a new prin- 
ciple of apportionment. They assumed the total population 
of the United States, and not the population of each State, 
as the basis on which the whole number of representatives 

Vol. XV.— ***10 

218 U/or^s of U/as^ip^toi) Iruip^ 

should be ascertained. This aggregate they divided by 
thirty thousand : the quotient gave one hundred and twenty 
as the number of representatives; and this number they ap- 
portioned upon the several States according to their popula- 
tion ; allotting to each one member for every thirty thousand, 
and distributing the residuary members (to make up the one 
hundred and twenty) among the States having the largest 

After an earnest debate, the House concurred, and the 
bill came before the President for his decision. The sole 
question was as to its constitutionality ; that being admitted, 
it was unexceptionable. Washington took the opinion of his 
cabinet. Jefferson and Randolph considered the act at vari- 
ance with the constitution. Knox was undecided. Hamil- 
ton thought the clause of the constitution relating to the sub- 
ject somewhat vague, and was in favor of the construction 
given to it by the legislature. 

After weighing the arguments on both sides, and ma- 
turely deliberating, the President made up his mind that the 
act was unconstitutional. It was the obvious intent of the 
constitution to apply the ratio of representation according to 
the separate members of each State, and not to the aggre- 
gate of the population of the United States. Now this bill 
allotted to eight of the States more than one representative 
for thirty thousand inhabitants. He accordingly returned 
the bill with his objections, being the first exercise of the 
veto power. A new bill was substituted, and passed into a 
law ; giving a representative for every thirty- three thousand 
to each State. 

Great heat and asperity were manifested in the discus- 
sions of Congress throughout the present session. Washing- 
ton had observed with pain the political divisions which were 

Cife of U/asl?io<$tor} 219 

growing up in the country; and was deeply concerned at 
finding that they were pervading the halls of legislation. 
The press, too, was contributing its powerful aid to keep up 
and increase the irritation. Two rival papers existed at the 
seat of government; one was"Fenno's Gazette of the United 
States," in which John Adams had published his Discourses 
on Davila; the other was the "National Gazette," edited by 
Philip Freneau. Freneau had been editor of the "New York 
Daily Advertiser," but had come to Philadelphia in the au- 
tumn of 1791 to occupy the post of translating clerk in Mr. 
Jefferson's office, and had almost immediately (Oct. 31) pub- 
lished the first number of his "Gazette." Notwithstanding 
his situation in the office of the Secretary of State, Freneau 
became, and continued to be throughout the session, a viru- 
lent assailant of most of the measures of government; ex- 
cepting such as originated with Mr. Jefferson, or were ap- 
proved by him. 

Heart-weary by the political strifes and disagreements 
which were disturbing the country and marring the harmony 
of his cabinet, the charge of government was becoming in- 
tolerably irksome to Washington; and he longed to be re- 
leased from it, and to be once more master of himself, free 
to indulge those rural and agricultural tastes which were to 
give verdure and freshness to his future existence. He had 
some time before this expressed a determination to retire 
from public life at the end of his presidential term. But one 
more year of that term remained to be endured ; he was con- 
gratulating himself with the thought, when Mr. Jefferson 
intimated that it was his intention to retire from office at 
the same time with himself. 

Washington was exceedingly discomposed by this deter- 
mination. Jefferson, in his Anas, assures us that the Presi- 

220 U/orl^s of U/a8t?ir>$top Irvii)$ 

dent remonstrated with him against it, "in an affectionate 
tone." For his own part, he observed, many motives com- 
pelled him to retire. It was only after much pressing that 
he had consented to take a part in the new government and 
get it under way. "Were he to continue in it longer, it might 
give room to say that, having tasted the sweets of office, he 
could not do without them. 

He observed, moreover, to Jefferson that he really felt 
himself growing old ; that his bodily health was less firm, 
and his memory, always bad, was becoming worse. The 
other faculties of his mind, perhaps, might be evincing to 
others a decay of which he himself might be insensible. 
This apprehension, he said, particularly oppressed him. 

His activity, too, had declined ; business was consequently 
more irksome, and the longing for tranquillity and retire- 
ment had become an irresistible passion. For these reasons 
he felt himself obliged, he said, to retire; yet he should 
consider it unfortunate if, in so doing, he should bring on 
the retirement of the great officers of government, which 
might produce a shock on the public mind of a dangerous 

Jefferson, in reply, stated the reluctance with which he 
himself had entered upon public employment, and the reso- 
lution he had formed on accepting his station in the cabinet, 
to make the resignation of the President the epoch of his 
own retirement from labors of which he was heartily tired. 
He did not believe, however, that any of his brethren in the 
administration had any idea of retiring; on the contrary, he 
had perceived, at a late meeting of the trustees of the sink- 
ing fund, that the Secretary of the Treasury had developed 
the plan he intended to pursue, and that it embraced years 
in its view. 

Cife of U/asfyio^tor; 221 

ashington rejoined that he considered the Treasury 
Department a limited one, going only to the single object of 
revenue, while that of the Secretary of State, embracing 
nearly all the objects of administration, was much more im- 
portant, and the retirement of the officer, therefore, would 
be more noticed; that though the government had set out 
with a pretty general good will, yet that symptoms of dis- 
satisfaction had lately shown themselves, far beyond what 
he could have expected ; and to what height these might 
arise, in case of too great a change in the administration, 
could not be foreseen. 

Jefferson availed himself of this opportunity to have a 
thrust at his political rival. "I told him" (the President), 
relates he, "that in my opinion there was only a single source 
of these discontents. Though they had, indeed, appeared to 
spread themselves over the War Department also, yet I con- 
sidered that as an overflowing only from their real channel, 
which would never have taken place if they had not first 
been generated in another department ; to wit, that of the 
Treasury. That a system had there been contrived for del- 
uging the States with paper money instead of gold and sil- 
ver, for withdrawing our citizens from the pursuits of com- 
merce, manufactures, buildings and other branches of useful 
industry, to occupy themselves and their capitals in a species 
of gambling, destructive of morality, and which had intro- 
duced its poison into the government itself." * 

Mr. Jefferson went on, in the same strain, to comment at 
farge upon the measures of Mr. Hamilton, but records no re- 
ply of importance on the part of Washington, whose object 
in seeking the conversation had been merely to persuade his 

* Jefferson's Works, ix. 102. 

222 U/orl^s of U/as^ir^toi) Irvir>$ 

Secretary to remain in the cabinet ; and who had no relish 
for the censorious comments to which it had given rise. 

Yet with all this political rivalry, Jefferson has left on 
record his appreciation of the sterling merit of Hamilton. 
In his Anas he speaks of him as "of acute understanding, 
disinterested, honest, and honorable in all private transac 
tions ; amiable in society, and duly valuing virtue in private 
life. Yet so bewitched and perverted by the British exam- 
ple as to be under thorough conviction that corruption was 
essential to the government of a nation." 

In support of this sweeping exception to Mr. Hamilton's 
political orthodoxy, Mr. Jefferson gives, in his Anas, a con- 
versation which occurred between that gentleman and Mr. 
Adams, at his (Mr. Jefferson's) table, after the cloth ivas 
removed. "Conversation," writes he, "began on other mat- 
ters, and by some circumstance was led to the British consti- 
tution, on which Mr. Adams observed, 'Purge that constitu- 
tion of its corruption, and give to its popular branch equality 
of representation, and it would be the most perfect constitu- 
tion ever devised by the wit of man. ' Hamilton paused and 
said, 'Purge it of its corruption, and give to its popular branch 
equality of representation, and it would become an imprac- 
ticable government; as it stands at present, with all its sup- 
posed defects, it is the most perfect government which ever 
existed.' " * 

This after-dinner conversation appears to us very loose 
ground on which to found the opinion continually expressed 
by Mr. Jefferson, that "Mr. Hamilton was not only a mo- 
narchist, but for a monarchy bottomed on corruption." 

Subsequent to "Washington's remonstrance with Mr. Jef- 

* Jefferson's "Works, vol. ix., p. 96. 

Cife of U/astyo^top 223 

ferson above cited, he had confidential conversations with 
Mr. Madison on the subject of his intended retirement from 
office at the end of the presidential term, and asked him to 
think what would be the proper time and mode of announc- 
ing his intention to the public ; and intimating a wish that 
Mr. Madison would prepare for him the announcement. 

Mr. Madison remonstrated in the most earnest manner 
against such a resolution, setting forth, in urgent language, 
the importance to the country of his continuing in the presi- 
dency. Washington listened to his reasoning with profound 
attention, but still clung to his resolution. 

In consequence of St. Clair's disastrous defeat and the 
increasing pressure of the Indian war, bills had been passed 
in Congress for increasing the army, by adding three regi- 
ments of infantry and a squadron of cavalry (which addi- 
tional force was to serve for three years, unless sooner dis- 
charged), also for establishing a uniform militia system. 

The question now came up as to the appointment of an 
officer to command in the Western frontier. General St. 
Clair, in a letter to "Washington, expressed a wish that a 
court of inquiry might be instituted to investigate his con- 
duct in the late expedition. "Your desire,' ' replied "Wash- 
ington, March 28th, "of rectifying any errors of the public 
opinion relative to your conduct, by an investigation of a 
court of inquiry, is highly laudable, and would be readily 
complied with, were the measure practicable. But a total 
deficiency of officers in actual service, of competent rank to 
form a legal court for that purpose, precludes the power of 
gratifying your wishes on this occasion. 

"The intimation of your wishes to afford your successor 
all the information of which you are capable, although un- 
necessary for my personal conviction, must be regarded as 

224: U/orl{8 of U/a8fyir)$t0Q Iruir?^ 

an additional evidence of the goodness of your heart, and of 
your attachment to your country." 

In a letter dated March 31st, St. Clair urged reasons for 
being permitted to retain his commission " until an opportu- 
nity should be presented, if necessary, of investigating his 
conduct in every mode presented by law." 

These reasons, Washington replied, would be conclusive 
with him under any other circumstances than the present. 
"But the establishment of the troops," observes he, "allows 
only of one Major-general. You have manifested your in- 
tention of retiring, and the essential interests of the public 
require that your successor should be immediately appointed, 
in order to repair to the frontiers. 

"As the House of Representatives have been pleased to 
institute an inquiry into the causes of the failure of the late 
expedition, I should hope an opportunity would thereby be 
afforded you of explaining your conduct in a manner satis- 
factory to the public and yourself." 

St. Clair resigned his commission, and was succeeded in 
his "Western command by General Wayne, the Mad Anthony 
of the Revolution, still in the vigor of his days, being forty- 
seven years of age. "He has many good points as an offi- 
cer," writes Washington, "and it is to be hoped that time, 
reflection, good advice, and, above all, a due sense of the 
importance of the trust which is committed to him, will 
correct his foibles, or cast a shade over them." * 

Washington's first thought was that a decisive expedi- 
tion, conducted by this energetic man of the sword, might 
retrieve the recent frontier disgrace, and put an end to the 
persevering hostility of the Indians. In deference, however, 

* Letter to Governor Lee. Washington's Writings, x. 248. 

Clfe of U/asfyir^tor) 225 

to the clamors which had been raised against the war and its 
expenses, and to meet what appeared to be the prevalent 
wish of the nation, he reluctantly relinquished his more ener- 
getic policy, and gave into that which advised further nego- 
tiations for peace ; though he was far from anticipating a 
beneficial result. 

In regard to St. Clair, we will here add that a committee 
of the House of Representatives ultimately inquired into the 
cause of the failure of his expedition, and rendered a report 
in which he was explicitly exculpated. His adjutant-general 
also (Winthrop Sargent), in his private diary, testifies to St. 
Clair's coolness and bravery, though debilitated by illness. 
Public sentiment, however, remained for a long time adverse 
to him; but Washington, satisfied with the explanations 
which had been given, continued to honor him with his 
confidence and friendship. 

Congress adjourned on the 8th of May, and soon after- 
ward "Washington set off on a short visit to Mount Vernon. 
The season was in all its beauty, and never had this rallying 
place of his affections appeared to him more attractive. 
How could he give up the prospect of a speedy return to its 
genial pursuits and pleasures from the harassing cares and 
janglings of public life. On the 20th of May, he wrote to 
Mr. Madison on the subject of their late conversation. "I 
have not been unmindful,' ' says he, "of the sentiments ex- 
pressed by you. On the contrary, I have again and again 
revolved them with thoughtful anxiety, but without being 
able to dispose my mind to a longer continuation in the office 
I have now the honor to hold. I, therefore, still look for- 
ward with the fondest and most ardent wishes to spend the 
remainder of my days, which I cannot expect to be long, in 
ease and tranquillity." 

226 U/orKs of U/a8l?i9$toi) Irvir;$ 

He now renewed the request he had made Mr. Madison, 
for advice as to the proper time and mode for announcing 
his intention of retiring, and for assistance in preparing the 
announcement. "In revolving this subject myself," writes 
he, "my judgment has always been embarrassed. On the 
one hand, a previous declaration to retire not only carries 
with it the appearance of vanity and self-importance, but it 
may be construed into a maneuver to be invited to remain ; 
and, on the other hand, to say nothing, implies consent, or, 
at any rate, would leave the matter in doubt ; and to decline 
afterward, might be deemed as bad and uneandid." 

"I would fain carry my request to you further," adds 
he. "As the recess [of Congress] may afford you leisure, 
and, I flatter myself, you have dispositions to oblige me, I 
will, without apology, desire, if the measure in itself should 
strike you as proper, or likely to produce public good or pri- 
vate honor, that you would turn your thoughts to a valedic- 
tory address from me to the public." 

He then went on to suggest a number of the topics and 
ideas which the address was to contain ; all to be expressed 
in "plain and modest terms." But, in the main, he left it to 
Mr. Madison to determine whether, in the first place, such 
an address would be proper; if so, what matters it ought to 
contain, and when it ought to appear ; whether at the same 
time with his [Washington's] declaration of his intention to 
retire, or at the close of his career. 

Madison, in reply, approved of the measure, and advised 
that the notification and address should appear together, and 
be promulgated through the press in time to pervade every 
part of the Union by the beginning of November. "With the 
letter he sent a draft of the address. "You will readily ob- 
serve," writes he, "that, in executing it, I have aimed at 

Cife of U/asfoiQdtop 227 

that plainness and modesty of language which you had in 
view, and which, indeed, are so peculiarly becoming the 
character and the occasion ; and that I had little more to do 
as to the matter than to follow the just and comprehensive 
outline which you had sketched. I flatter myself, however, 
that, in everything which has depended on me, much im- 
provement will be made, before so interesting a paper shall 
have taken its last form." * 

Before concluding his letter, Madison expressed a hope 
that "Washington would reconsider his idea of retiring from 
office, and that the country might not, at so important a con- 
juncture, be deprived of the inestimable advantage of having 
him at the head of its councils. 

On the 23d of May, Jefferson also addressed a long letter 
to "Washington on the same subject. "When you first men- 
tioned to me your purpose of retiring from the government, 
though I felt all the magnitude of the event, I was in a 
considerable degree silent. I knew that, to such a mind 
as yours, persuasion was idle and impertinent ; that, before 
forming your decision, you had weighed all the reasons for 
and against the measure, had made up your mind in full 
view of them, and that there could be little hope of chang- 
ing the result. Pursuing my reflections, too, 1 knew we 
were some day to try to walk alone, and, if the essay should 
be made while you should be alive and looking on, we should 
derive confidence from that circumstance, and resource if it 
failed. The public mind, too, was then calm and confident, 
and therefore in a favorable state for making the experiment. 
But the public mind is no longer so confident and serene ; 
and that from causes in which you are no ways personally 

* "Washington's Writings. Sparks, xii. 382. 

828 U/orKs of U/asbir^toi} Iruir}<$ 

Jefferson now launched out against the public debt and 
all the evils which he apprehended from the funding system, 
the ultimate object of all which was, said he, "to prepare 
the way for a change from the present republican form of 
government to that of a monarchy, of which the English 
constitution is to be the model. " He concluded by pronounc- 
ing the continuance of "Washington at the head of affairs to 
be of the last importance. 

"The confidence of the whole Union," writes he, "is cen- 
tered in you. Your being at the helm will be more than an 
answer to every argument which can be used to alarm and 
lead the people in any quarter into violence or secession. 
North and South will hang together, if they have you to 
hang on ; and, if the first corrective of a numerous represen- 
tation should fail in its effect, your presence will give time 
for trying others not inconsistent with the union and peace 
of the States. 

"I am perfectly aware of the oppression under which 
your present office lays your mind, and of the ardor with 
which you pant for retirement to domestic life. But there 
is sometimes an eminence of character on which society has 
such peculiar claims as to control the predilections of the in- 
dividual for a particular walk of happiness, and restrain him 
to that alone, arising from the present and future benedic- 
tions of mankind. This seems to be your condition, and the 
law imposed on you by Providence, in forming your char- 
acter, and fashioning the events on which it was to operate ; 
and it is to motives like these, and not to personal anxieties 
of mine or others, who have no right to call on you for sacri- 
fices, that I appeal from your former determination and urge 
a revisal of it, on the ground of change in the aspect of 
things. Should an honest majority result from the new and 

Cife of U/ast?ir7<$too 229 

enlarged representation, should those acquiesce, whose prin- 
ciples or interests they may control, your wishes for retire- 
ment would be gratified with less danger, as soon as that 
shall be manifest, without awaiting the completion of the 
second period of four years. One or two sessions will deter- 
mine the crisis ; and I cannot but hope that you can resolve 
to add one or two more to the many years you have already 
sacrificed to the good of mankind.' ' * 


Jefferson's Suspicions — Contemned by Hamilton — Washington's 
Expostulation — Complains of the Conduct of Freneau*s Paper 
— Hamilton and Randolph urge him to a Re-election — A war- 
ring Cabinet — Hamilton's attack on Jefferson — Washington's 
healing Admomtion — Replies of the two Secretaries — Continued 
Hostility to the Excise Law — Washington's Proclamation — Re- 
newed Effort to allay the Discord in his Cabinet 

The letter of Jefferson was not received by Washington 
until after his return to Philadelphia, and the purport of it 
was so painful to him that he deferred from day to day hav- 
ing any conversation with that statesman on the subject. A 
letter written in the meantime, by Jefferson to Lafayette, 
shows the predominant suspicion, or rather belief, which had 
fixed itself in the mind of the former, and was shaping his 
course of action. 

"A sect," writes he, "has shown itself among us, who 
declare they espoused our constitution not as a good and 
sufficient thing in itself, but only as a step to an English 
constitution, the only thing good and sufficient in itself, in 

* Writings, x. 508. 

230 U/or^s of U/asl?ii?$tOD Irvip$ 

their eyes. It is happy for us that these are preachers with- 
out followers, and that our people are firm and constant in 
their republican purity. Y ou will wonder to be told that it 
is from the Eastward chiefly that these champions for a 
king, lords, and commons, come. They get some important 
associates from New York, and are puffed up by a tribe of 
Agioteurs which have been hatched in a bed of corruption, 
made up after the model of their beloved England. Too 
many of these stock-jobbers and king- jobbers have come into 
our legislature, or rather, too many of our legislature have 
become stock-jobbers and king-jobbers. However, the voice 
of the people is beginning to make itself heard, and will prob- 
ably cleanse their seats at the next election.' ' * 

In regard to the suspicions and apprehensions avowed in 
the above letter, and which apparently were haunting J effer- 
son's mind, Hamilton expressed himself roundly in one of his 
cabinet papers : 

"The idea of introducing a monarchy or aristocracy into 
this country, by employing the influence and force of a gov- 
ernment continually changing hands, toward it, is one of 
those visionary things that none but madmen could medi- 
tate, and that no wise man will believe. If it could be done 
at all, which is utterly incredible, it would require a long 
series of time, certainly beyond the life of any individual, to 
effect it — who, then, would enter into such a plot? for what 
purpose of interest or ambition?" 

And as to the charge of stock-gambling in the legislature, 
Hamilton indignantly writes : "As far as I know, there is 
not a member of the legislature who can properly be called 
a stock-jobber or a paper dealer. There are several of them 

* Jefferson's Works, iii. 450. 

Cife of Wa&tyvQtOT) 231 

who were proprietors of public debt, in various ways; some 
for money lent and property furnished for the use of the 
public during the war, others for sums received in payment 
of debts, and it is supposable enough that some of them had 
been purchasers of the public debt, with intention to hold it 
as a valuable and convenient property, considering an honor- 
able provision for it as a matter of course. 

"It is a strange perversion of ideas, and as novel as it is 
extraordinary, that men should be deemed corrupt and crim- 
inal for becoming proprietors in the funds of their country. 
Yet, I believe the number of members of Congress is very 
small who have ever been considerable proprietors in the 
funds. As to improper speculations on measures depending 
before Congress, I believe never was any body of men freer 
from them." * 

On the 10th of July, Washington had a conversation 
with Jefferson on the subject of the letter he had recently 
received from him ; and endeavored with his usual supervis- 
ing and moderating assiduity to allay the jealousies and sus- 
picions which were disturbing the mind of that ardent poli- 
tician. These, he intimated, had been carried a great deal 
too far. There might be desires, he said, among a few in 
the higher walks of life, particularly in the great cities, to 
change the form of government into a monarchy, but he did 
not believe there were any designs; and he believed the 
main body of the people of the Eastern States were as stead- 
ily for republicanism as in the Southern. 

He now spoke with earnestness about articles in the pub- 
lic papers, especially in the "Gazette" edited by Freneau, 
the object of which seemed to be to excite opposition to the 

* Hamilton's Works, iv. 268. 

232 U/orKs of U/asl?ii)$toi) Irving 

government, and which had actually excited it in Pennsyl- 
vania, in regard to the excise law. " These articles," said 
he, feelingly, "tend to produce a separation of the Union, 
the most dreadful of calamities; and whatever tends to 
produce anarchy, tends, of course, to produce a resort to 
monarchial government. ' ' 

The articles in question had, it is true, been chiefly leveled 
at the Treasury Department, but "Washington accepted no 
immunity from attacks pointed at any department of his 
government; assuming that they were aimed directly at 
himself. "In condemning the administration of the gov- 
ernment, they condemned me," said he, "for, if they thought 
these were measures pursued contrary to my sentiments, they 
must conceive me too careless to attend to them or too stupid 
to understand them." 

He acknowledged, indeed, that he had signed many acts 
of which he did not approve in all their parts; but never had 
he put his hand to one which he did not think eligible, on 
the whole. 

As to the bank which had been so much complained of, 
he observed that, until there was some infallible criterion of 
reason, a difference of opinion must be tolerated. He did 
not believe the discontents extended far from the seat of 
government. He had seen and spoken with many people in 
Maryland and Virginia in his late journey, and had found 
them contented and happy. 

Jefferson's observations in reply tended, principally, to 
iterate and enforce what he had already urged in his letter. 
The two great popular complaints were, he said, that the 
national debt was unnecessarily increased by the Assump- 
tion, and that it had furnished the means of corrupting both 
branches of the legislature. In both Houses there was a 

Cife of U/asI?in$tor> 233 

considerable squadron whose votes were devoted to the 
paper and stock- jobbing interest. On examining the votes 
of these men they would be found uniformly for every 
treasury measure, and as most of these measures had been 
carried by small majorities, they had been carried by these 
very votes. It was a cause of just uneasiness, therefore, 
when we saw a legislature legislating for their own inter- 
ests in opposition to those of the people. 

" Washington," observes Jefferson, "said not a word 
on the corruption of the legislature." He probably did not 
feel disposed to contend against what he may have consid- 
ered jealous suspicions and deductions. But he took up the 
other point and defended the Assumption, arguing, says 
Jefferson, that it had not increased the debt, for that all 
of it was honest debt. 

He justified the excise law, too, as one of the best laws 
that could be passed, as nobody would pay the tax who did 
not choose to do it. 

We give this conversation as noted down by Jefferson 
in his Anas. It is one of the very few instances we have 
of Washington's informal discussions with the members of 
his cabinet, and it bears the stamp of that judgment, con- 
siderateness, delicacy, and good faith which enabled him to 
moderate and manage the wayward passions and impulses 
of able men. 

Hamilton was equally strenuous with Jefferson in urging 
upon Washington the policy of a re-election, as it regarded 
the public good, and wrote to him fully on the subject. It 
was the opinion of every one, he alleged, with whom he had 
conversed, that the affairs of the national government were 
not yet firmly established ; that its enemies, generally speak- 
ing, were as inveterate as ever; that their enmity had been 

834 U/or^s of U/a8l?iQ$toi) Iri/ii>$ 

sharpened by its success and all the resentments which flow 
from disappointed predictions and mortified vanity; that a 
general and strenuous effort was making in every State to 
place the administration of it in the hands of its enemies, 
as if they were its safest guardians; that the period of the 
next House of Representatives was likely to prove the crisis 
of its national character; that if Washington continued in 
office, nothing materially mischievous was to be apprehended ; 
but, if he should quit, much was to be dreaded; that the 
same motives which had induced him to accept originally, 
ought to decide him to continue till matters had assumed a 
more determinate aspect; that, indeed, it would have been 
better, as it regarded his own character, that he had never 
consented to come forward than now to leave the business 
unfinished and in danger of being undone; that in the event 
of storms arising there would be an imputation either of want 
of foresight or want of firmness ; and, in fine, that on public 
and personal accounts, on patriotic and prudential considera- 
tions, the clear path to be pursued by him would be again 
to obey the voice of his country ; which, it was not doubted, 
would be as earnest and as unanimous as ever. 

In concluding his letter, Hamilton observes, "The senti- 
ments I have delivered upon this occasion, I can truly say, 
proceed exclusively from an anxious concern for the public 
welfare and an affectionate personal attachment." 

Mr. Edmund Randolph, also, after a long letter on the 
"jeopardy of the Union," which seemed to him "at the eve 
of a crisis," adds: "The fuel which has been already gath- 
ered for combustion wants no addition. But how awfully 
might it be increased were the violence, which is now sus- 
pended by a universal submission to your pretensions, let 
loose by your resignation. Permit me, then, in the fervor 

Cife of U/asl?i9$toi) 235 

of a dutiful and affectionate attachment to you, to beseech 
you to penetrate the consequences of a dereliction of the 
reins. The constitution would never have been adopted but 
from a knowledge that you had once sanctioned it, and an 
expectation that you would execute it. It is in a state of 
probation. The most inauspicious struggles are past, but 
the public deliberations need stability. You alone can give 
them stability. You suffered yourself to yield when the 
voice of your country summoned you to the administration. 
Should a civil war arise, you cannot stay at home. And 
how much easier will it be to disperse the factions, which 
are rushing to this catastrophe, than to subdue them after 
they shall appear in arms? It is the fixed opinion of the 
world that you surrender nothing incomplete." * 

Not the cabinet, merely, divided as it was in its political 
opinions, but all parties, however discordant in other points, 
concurred in a desire that Washington should continue in 
office — so truly was he regarded as the choice of the nation. 

But though the cabinet was united in feeling on this one 
subject, in other respects its dissensions were increasing in 
virulence. Hamilton, aggrieved by the attacks made in 
Freneau's paper upon his funding and banking system, his 
duty on home-made spirits, and other points of his financial 
policy, and upon himself, by holding him up as a monarchist 
at heart, and considering these attacks as originating in the 
hostility of Freneau's patron, Mr. Jefferson, addressed a note 
signed T. L., to the editor of the "Gazette of the United 
States," in which he observed that the editor of the "Na- 
tional Gazette" received a salary from government, adding 
the significant query — whether this salary was paid him for 

* Washington's Writings, x. 514. 

230 U/orl^s of U/asl?ir7<$tor) Irvir}<$ 

translations or for publications, the design of which was to 
vilify those to whom the voice of the people had committed 
the administration of our public affairs, to oppose the meas- 
ures of government, and, by false insinuations, to disturb 
the public peace? "In common life it is thought ungrateful 
for a man to bite the hand that puts bread in his mouth ; 
but, if the man is hired to do it, the case is altered." 

In another article, dated August 4th, Mr. Hamilton, 
under the signature of "An American," gave some partic- 
ulars of the negotiations which ended in the establishment 
of the "National Gazette," devoted to the interests of a cer- 
tain party, of which Mr. Jefferson was the head. "An 
experiment," said he, "somewhat new in the history of 
political maneuvers in this country; a newspaper instituted 
by a public officer, and the editor of it regularly pensioned 
with the public money in the disposal of that officer. . . . 
But, it may be asked — is it possible that Mr. Jefferson, the 
head of a principal department of the government., can be 
the patron of a paper, the evident object of which is to decry 
the government and its measures? If he disapproves of the 
government itself, and thinks it deserving of his opposition, 
can he reconcile it to his own personal dignity and the prin- 
ciples of probity, to hold an office under it, and employ the 
means of official influence in that opposition? If he disap- 
proves of the leading measures which have been adopted in 
the course of his administration, can he reconcile it with the 
principles of delicacy and propriety to hold a place in that 
administration, and at the same time to be instrumental in 
vilifying measures which have been adopted by majorities 
of both branches of the legislature, and sanctioned by the 
chief magistrate of the Union?" 

This attack brought out an affidavit from Mr. Freneau, 

Cife of U/a8l?ir)$tor) 237 

in which he declared that his coming to Philadelphia was 
his own voluntary act, that, as an editor of a newspaper, 
he had never been urged, advised, or influenced by Mr. 
Jefferson, and that not a single line of his "Gazette" was 
ever directly or indirectly written, dictated or composed for 
it by the Secretary of State. 

Washington had noticed this growing feud with excessive 
pain, and at length found it necessary to interfere and at- 
tempt a reconciliation between the warring parties. In the 
course of a letter to Jefferson (Aug. 23d), on the subject of 
Indian hostilities, and the possibility of their being furnished 
by foreign agents to check, as far as possible, the rapid 
increase, extension and consequence of the United States, 
"How unfortunate, then," observes he, "and how much 
to be regretted that, while we are encompassed on all sides 
with armed enemies and insidious friends, internal dissen- 
sions should be harrowing and tearing our vitals. The lat- 
ter, to me, is the most serious, the most alarming, and the 
most afflicting of the two; and without more charity for 
the opinions and acts of one another in governmental mat- 
ters, or some more infallible criterion by which the truth of 
speculative opinions, before they have undergone the test 
of experience, are to be prejudged, than has yet fallen to the 
lot of fallibility, I believe it will be difficult, if not impractica- 
ble, to manage the reins of government, or to keep the parts 
of it together; for if, instead of laying our shoulders to the 
machine after measures are decided on, one pulls this way 
and another that, before the utility of the thing is fairly tried, 
it must inevitably be torn asunder; and, in my opinion, the 
fairest prospect of happiness and prosperity that ever was 
presented to man will be lost perhaps forever. 

"My earnest wish and fondest hope, therefore, is, that 

238 U/orKs of U/asl?ii)$toi) Irvii)$ 

instead of wounding suspicions and irritating charges, there 
may be liberal allowances, mutual forbearances, and tem- 
porizing yieldings on all sides. Under the exercise of these, 
matters will go on smoothly, and, if possible, more prosper- 
ously. Without them, everything must rub; the wheels 
of government will clog; our enemies will triumph, and, 
by throwing their weight into the disaffected scale, may 
accomplish the ruin of the goodly fabric we have been 

Admonitions to the same purport were addressed by him 
to Hamilton. "Having premised these things," adds he, 
"I would fain hope that liberal allowances will be made for 
the political opinions of each other; and, instead of those 
wounding suspicions and irritating charges, with which some 
of our gazettes are so strongly impregnated, and which can- 
not fail, if persevered in, of pushing matters to extremity, 
and thereby tearing the machine asunder, that there may 
be mutual forbearance and temporizing yielding on all sides. 
"Without these I do not see how the reins of government are 
to be managed, or how the Union ot the States can be much 
longer preserved." . . . 

"I do not mean to apply this advice to any measures 
which are passed, or to any particular character. I have 
given it in the same general terms to other officers of the 
government. My earnest wish is that balsam may be poured 
into all the wounds which have been given, to prevent them 
from gangrening, and from those fatal consequences which 
the community may sustain if it is withheld." * 

Hamilton was prompt and affectionate in his reply, ex- 
pressing sincere regret at the circumstances which had given 

Writings, x. 284. 

Cife of \JJa&\}ir)^tor) 239 

rise to the uneasy sensations experienced by Washington. 
' 'It is my most anxious wish," writes he, "as far as may 
depend upon me, to smooth the path of your administration, 
and to render it prosperous and happy. And if any prospect 
shall open of healing or terminating the differences which 
exist, I shall most cheerfully embrace it ; though I consider 
myself as the deeply injured party. The recommendation 
of such a spirit is worthy of the moderation and wisdom 
which dictated it." 

He then frankly acknowledged that he had had "some 
instrumentality" in the retaliations which of late had fallen 
upon certain public characters. 

"I considered myself compelled to this conduct," adds 
he, "by reasons public as well as personal, of the most cogent 
nature. I knoiv I have been an object of uniform opposition 
from Mr. Jefferson, from the moment of his coming to the 
city of New York to enter upon his present office. I know, 
from the most authentic sources, that I have been the fre- 
quent subject of the most unkind whispers and insinuations 
from the same quarter. I have long seen a formed party 
in the legislature under his auspices, bent upon my subver- 
sion. I cannot doubt, from the evidence I possess, that the 
'National Gazette' was instituted by him for political pur 
poses, and that one leading object of it has been to render 
me and all the measures connected with my department as 
odious as possible. Nevertheless," proceeds he, "I can truly 
say that, excepting explanations to confidential friends, I 
never, directly or indirectly, retaliated or countenanced 
retaliation till very lately. . . . But when I no longer 
doubted that there was a formed party deliberately bent 
upon the subversion of measures which, in its consequences, 
would subvert the government; when I saw that the undoing 

240 U/orl^s of \I/asl?ir)$toi} Iruir><$ 

of the funding system in particular (which, whatever may 
be the original measures of that system, would prostrate the 
credit and honor of the nation, and bring the government 
into contempt with that description of men who are in every 
society the only firm supporters of government), was an 
avowed object of the party ; and that all possible pains were 
taken to produce that effect by rendering it odious to the 
body of the people, I considered it a duty to endeavor to 
resist the torrent, and, as an effectual means to this end, 
to draw aside the veil from the principal actors. To this 
strong impulse, to this decided conviction, I have yielded; 
and I think events will prove that I have judged rightly. 

" Nevertheless, I pledge my hand to you, sir, that, if you 
shall hereafter form a plan to reunite the members of your 
administration upon some steady principle of co-operation, 
I will faithfully concur in executing it during my continu- 
ance in office. And I will not, directly or indirectly, say 
or do a thing that shall endanger a feud." 

Jefferson, too, in a letter of the same date, assured Wash- 
ington that to no one had the dissensions of the cabinet given 
deeper concern than to himself — to no one equal mortifica- 
tion at being himself a part of them. His own grievances, 
which led to those dissensions, he traced back to the time 
when Hamilton, in the spring of 1790, procured his influence 
to effect a change in the vote on Assumption. "When I 
embarked in the government," writes he, "it was with a 
determination to intermeddle not at all with the legisla- 
ture, and as little as possible with my co-departments. The 
first and only instance of variance from the former part 
of my resolution I was duped into by the Secretary of the 
Treasury, and made a tool for forwarding his schemes, not 
then sufficiently understood by mej and of all the errors 

Cife of U/asl?ir><$tor) 241 

of my political life, this has occasioned me the deepest regret. 
... If it has been supposed that I have ever intrigued 
among the members of the legislature to defeat the plans 
of the Secretary of the Treasury, it is contrary to all truth. 
. . . That I have utterly, in my private conversations, 
disapproved of the system of the Secretary of the Treasury, 
I acknowledge and avow ; and this was not merely a specu- 
lative difference. His system flowed from principles adverse 
to liberty, and was calculated to undermine and demolish 
the republic by creating an influence of his department over 
the members of the legislature." 

In regard to Freneau's " Gazette," Mr. Jefferson abso- 
lutely denied that he had set it up; but admitted that, on 
its first establishment, and subsequently from time to time, 
he had furnished the editor with the " Ley den Gazette," 
requesting that he would always translate and publish the 
material intelligence contained in them. "But as to any 
other direction or indication," adds he, "of my wish how his 
press should be conducted, what sort of intelligence he should 
give, what essays encourage, I can protest, in the presence 
of Heaven, that I never did, by myself or any other, directly 
or indirectly, say a syllable, nor attempt any kind of influ- 
ence. I can further protest, in the same awful presence, 
that I never did, by myself or any other, directly or indi- 
rectly, write, dictate or procure any one sentence or senti- 
ment to be inserted in his or any other gazette, to which 
my name was not affixed, or that of my office. . . . 

"Freneau's proposition to publish a paper having been 
about the time that the writings of "Publicola" and the 
"Discourses on Davila" had a good deal excited the public 
attention, I took it for granted, from Freneau's character, 
which had been marked as that of a good whig, that he 

Vol. XV.—* * * 11 

242 ll/or^s of U/asf^ip^top Irvfp$ 

would give free place to pieces written against the aris- 
tocrat] cal and monarchial principles these papers had in- 
culcated. . . . 

"As to the merits or demerits of his paper, they certainly 
concern me not. He and Fenno [editor ot the * United 
States Gazette'] are rivals for the public favor; the one 
courts them by flattery, the other by censure ; and I believe 
it will be admitted that the one has been as servile as the 
other severe. But is not the dignity and even decency of 
government committed, when one of its principal ministers 
enlists himself as an anonymous writer or paragraphist for 
either the one or the other of them?" 

Mr. Jefferson considered himself particularly aggrieved 
by charges against him in "Fenno's Gazette," which he 
ascribed to the pen of Mr. Hamilton, and intimated the 
possibility that, after his retirement from office, he might 
make an appeal to the country, should his own justification 
or the interests of the Republic require it, subscribing his 
name to whatever he might write, and using with freedom 
and truth the facts and names necessary to place the cause 
in its just form before that tribunal. "To a thorough dis- 
regard of the honors and emoluments of office, I join as 
great a value for the esteem of my countrymen; and con- 
scious of having merited it by an integrity which cannot 
be reproached, and by an enthusiastic devotion to their rights 
and liberty, I will not suffer my retirement to be clouded 
by the slanders of a man whose history, from the moment 
at which history can stoop to notice him, is a tissue of mach- 
inations against the liberty of the country which has not 
only received and given him bread, but heaped its honors 
on his head." 

Washington's solicitude for harmony in his cabinet had 

Cife of ll/as^ir^tor? 213 

been rendered more anxious by public disturbances in some 
parts of the country. The excise law on ardent spirits 
distilled within the United States, had, from the time of 
its enactment by Congress, in 1791, met with opposition 
from the inhabitants of the western counties of Pennsyl- 
vania. It had been modified and rendered less offensive 
within the present year ; but the hostility to it had continued. 
Combinations were formed to defeat the execution of it, and 
the revenue officers were riotously opposed in the execution 
of their duties. 

Determined to exert all the legal powers with which he 
was invested to check so daring and unwarrantable a spirit, 
Washington, on the 15th of September, issued a proclama- 
tion, warning all persons to desist from such unlawful com- 
binations and proceedings, and requiring all courts, magis- 
trates and officers to bring the infractors of the law to justice; 
copies of which proclamation were sent to the governors of 
Pennsylvania and of North and South Carolina. 

On the 18th of October, Washington made one more 
effort to allay the discord in his cabinet. Finding it im- 
possible for the rival secretaries to concur in any system 
of politics, he urged them to accommodate their differences 
by mutual yieldings. "A measure of this sort," observed 
he, " would produce harmony and consequent good in our 
public councils, and the contrary will inevitably produce 
confusion and serious mischiefs; and all for what? Because 
mankind cannot think alike, but would adopt different means 
to attain the same end. For I will frankly and solemnly 
declare that I believe the views of both to be pure and well 
meant, and that experience only will decide with respect 
to the salutariness of the measures which are the subjects 
of this dispute. 

244 U/orl^s of U/as^ip^top Irvir;^ 

" Why, then, when some of the best citizens of the United 
States — men of discernment — uniform and tried patriots — 
who have no sinister views to promote, but are chaste in 
their ways of thinking and acting, are to be found, some 
on one side and some on the other of the questions which 
have caused these agitations — why should either of you be 
so tenacious of your opinions as to- make no allowance for 
those of the other? . . . 

"I have a great, a sincere esteem and regard for you 
both ; and ardently wish that some line could be marked out 
by which both of you could walk. ' ' 


Washington unanimously re-elected — Opening of Session of Con- 
gress — Topics of the President's Speech — Abortive attack upon 
the Secretary of the Treasury — Washington installed for his 
Second Term 

It was after a long and painful conflict of feelings that 
Washington consented to be a candidate for re-election. 
There was no opposition on the part of the public, and the 
vote for him in the Electoral College was unanimous. In 
a letter to a friend, he declared himself gratefully impressed 
by so distinguished and honorable a testimony of public 
approbation and confidence. In truth he had been appre- 
hensive of being elected by but a meager majority, which 
he acknowledged would have been a matter of chagrin. 

George Clinton, of New York, was held up for the Vice- 
Presidency, in opposition to John Adams ; but the latter was 
re-elected by a majority of twenty -seven electoral votes. 

Cife of U/a8f?ii)<$tor? 245 

But though gratified to find that the hearts of his country- 
men were still with him, it was with no emotion of pleasure 
that Washington looked forward to another term of public 
duty, and a prolonged absence from the quiet retirement of 
Mount Vernon. 

The session of Congress, which was to close his present 
term, opened on the fifth of November. The continuance 
of the Indian war formed a painful topic in the President's 
address. Efforts at pacification had as yet been unsuccess- 
ful : two brave officers, Colonel Hardin and Major Truman, 
who had been sent to negotiate with the savages, had been 
severally murdered. Vigorous preparations were therefore 
making for an active prosecution of hostilities, in which 
Wayne was to take the field. Washington, with benevolent 
earnestness, dwelt upon the humane system of civilizing the 
tribes, by inculcating agricultural tastes and habits. 

The factious and turbulent opposition which had been 
made in some parts of the country to the collection of duties 
on spirituous liquors distilled in the United States was like- 
wise adverted to by the President, and a determination ex- 
pressed to assert and maintain the just authority of the laws; 
trusting in the "full co-operation of the other departments 
of government, and the zealous support of all good citizens." 

In a part of the speech addressed to the House of Repre- 
sentatives, he expressed a strong hope that the state of the 
national finances was now sufficiently matured to admit of 
an arrangement for the redemption and discharge of the 
public debt. "No measure," said he, "can be more desir- 
able, whether viewed with an eye to its intrinsic importance, 
or to the general sentiment and wish of the nation." 

The address was well received by both Houses, and a 
disposition expressed to concur with the President's views 

246 U/orl^s of U/as^ip^top Irvii?$ 

and wishes. The discussion of the subjects to which he had 
called their attention soon produced vehement conflicts of 
opinion in the House, marking the growing virulence of par- 
ties. The Secretary of the Treasury, in reporting, at the 
request of the House, a plan for the annual reduction of so 
much of the national debt as the United States had a right 
to redeem, spoke of the expenses of the Indian war, and the 
necessity of additional internal taxes. The consideration 
of the report was parried or evaded, and a motion made 
to reduce the military establishment. This gave an oppor- 
tunity for sternly criticising the mode in which the Indian 
war had been conducted; for discussing the comparative 
merits and cost of regular and militia forces, and for inveigh- 
ing against standing armies, as dangerous to liberty. These 
discussions, while they elicited much heat, led to no present 
result, and gave way to an inquiry into the conduct of the 
Secretary of the Treasury in regard to certain loans, which 
the President, in conformity to acts of Congress, had author- 
ized him to make ; but concerning the management of which 
he had not furnished detailed reports to the legislature. The 
subject was opened by Mr. Giles, of Virginia, who moved 
in the House of Representatives a series of resolutions seek- 
ing information in the matter, and who followed his resolu- 
tions by a speech, charging the Secretary of the Treasury 
with official misconduct, and intimating that a large balance 
of public money had not been accounted for. 

A report of the Secretary gave all the information desired ; 
but the charges against him continued to be urged with great 
acrimony to the close of the session, when they were signally 
rejected, not more than sixteen members voting for any one 
of them. 

The veneration inspired by the character of Washington, 

Cife of U/asf?iQ$tor) 247 

and the persuasion that he would never permit himself to 
be considered the head of a party, had hitherto shielded him 
from attack; a little circumstance, however, showed that 
the rancor of party was beginning to glance at him. 

On his birthday (Feb. 22) many of the members of Con- 
gress were desirous of waiting on him in testimony of respect 
as chief magistrate of the Union, and a motion was made 
to adjourn for half an hour for that purpose. It met 
with serious opposition as a species of homage — it was set- 
ting up an idol dangerous to liberty — it had a bias toward 
monarchy ! 

Washington, though he never courted popularity, was 
attentive to the signs of public opinion, and disposed to be 
guided by them when right. The time for entering upon 
his second term of Presidency was at hand. There had been 
much caviling at the parade attending his first installation. 
Jefferson especially had pronounced it "not at all in char- 
acter with the simplicity of republican government, and look 
ing, as if wishfully, to those of European courts.' ' 

To guide him on the coming occasion, Washington called 
the heads of departments together, and desired they would 
consult with one another, and agree on any changes they 
might consider for the better, assuring them he would will- 
ingly conform to whatever they should advise. 

They held such consultation, and ultimately gave their 
individual opinions in writing, with regard to the time, man- 
ner and place of the President's taking the oath of office. 
As they were divided in opinion, and gave no positive advice 
as to any change, no change was made. On the 4th of 
March, the oath was publicly administered to Washington 
by Mr. Justice Cushing, in the Senate Chamber, in presence 
of the heads of departments, foreign ministers, such members 

248 U/orKs of U/asr;ir;<$tor; Iruir;^ 

of the House of Representatives as were in town, and as 
many other spectators as could be accommodated. 


Gouverneur Morris Minister at the French Court— His Representa- 
tions of the State of Affairs — Washington's Concern for La- 
fayette — Jefferson annoyed at his Forebodings — Overthrow of 
the French Monarchy — Imprisonment of Lafayette — Jefferson 
concerned, but not discouraged at the Republican Massacres — 
Washington shocked — His Letter to the Marchioness Lafayette 

Early in 1792, Gouverneur Morris had received the 
appointment of minister plenipotentiary to the French cotfrt. 
His diplomatic correspondence from Paris gave shocking- 
accounts of the excesses attending the revolution. France 
he represented as governed by Jacobin clubs. Lafayette, 
by endeavoring to check their excesses, had completely lost 
his authority. "Were he to appear just now in Paris, un- 
attended by his army," writes Morris, "he would be torn 
to pieces." Washington received these accounts with deep 
concern. What was to be the fate of that distracted country 
— what was to be the fate of his friend ! 

Jefferson was impatient of these gloomy picturings ; es- 
pecially when he saw their effect upon Washington's mind. 
"The fact is," writes he, "that Gouverneur Morris, a high- 
flying monarchy man, shutting his eyes and his faith to 
every fact against his wishes, and believing everything he 
desires to be true, has kept the President's mind constantly 
poisoned with his forebodings." 

His forebodings, however, were soon verified. Lafayette 
addressed from his camp a letter to the Legislative Assembly, 

Cife of U/asfyip^top 249 

formally denouncing the conduct of the Jacobin club as 
violating the declaration of rights and the constitution. 

His letter was of no avail. On the 20th of June bands 
from the Faubourg St. Antoine, armed with pikes, and 
headed by Santerre, marched to the Tuileries, insulted the 
king in the presence of his family, obliging him to put on 
the bonnet rouge, the baleful cap of liberty of the revolu- 
tion. Lafayette, still loyal to his sovereign, hastened to 
Paris, appeared at the bar of the Assembly, and demanded, 
in the name of the army, the punishment of those who had 
thus violated the constitution, by insulting in his palace the 
chief of the executive power. His intervention proved of 
no avail, and he returned with a sad and foreboding heart 
to his army. 

On the 9th of August, Paris was startled by the sound 
of the fatal tocsin at midnight. On the 10th the chateau 
of the Tuileries was attacked, and the Swiss guard who 
defended it were massacred. The king and queen took 
refuge in the National Assembly, which body decreed the 
suspension of the king's authority. 

It was at once the overthrow of the monarchy, the anni- 
hilation of the constitutional party, and the commencement 
of the reign of terror. Lafayette, who was the head of the 
constitutionalists, was involved in their downfall. The 
Jacobins denounced him in the National Assembly; his 
arrest was decreed, and emissaries were sent to carry the 
decree into effect. At first he thought of repairing at once 
to Paris and facing his accusers, but, on second thoughts, 
determined to bend before the storm and await the return 
of more propitious days. 

Leaving everything in order in his army, which remained 
encamped at Sedan, he set off with a few trusty friends for 

250 U/orl^s of U/asfyir^toi} Iruio<$ 

the Netherlands, to seek an asylum in Holland or the United 
States; but, with his companions, was detained a prisoner 
at Roehefort, the first Austrian post. 

"Thus his circle is completed," writes Morris. "He has 
spent his fortune on a revolution, and is now crushed by the 
wheel which he put in motion. He lasted longer than I 

Washington looked with a sadder eye on this catastrophe 
of Lafayette's high-hearted and gallant aspirations, and 
mourned over the adverse fortunes of his friend. 

The reign of terror continued. "We have had one week 
of unchecked murders, in which some thousands have per- 
ished in the city," writes Morris to Jefferson, on the 10th of 
September. "It began with between two and three hundred 
of the clergy, who had been shot because they would not 
take the oaths prescribed by the law, and which they said 
were contrary to their conscience." Thence these executors 
of speedy justice went to the abbaye, where persons were 
confined who were at court on the 10th of August. These 
were dispatched also, and afterward they visited the other 
prisons. "All those who were confined either on the accusa- 
tion or suspicion of crimes were destroyed." 

The accounts of these massacres grieved Mr. Jefferson. 
They were shockiug in themselves, and he feared they might 
bring great discredit upon the Jacobins of France, whom he 
considered republican patriots, bent on the establishment of 
a free constitution. They had acquiesced for a time, said 
he, in the experiment of retaining a hereditary executive, 
but finding, if pursued, it would insure the re-establishment 
of a despotism, they considered it absolutely indispensable to 
expunge that office. "In the struggle which was necessary, 
many guilty persons fell without the forms of trial, and with 

Cife of U/asl?ir?<$tor) 251 

them, some innocent. These I deplore as much as anybody, 
and shall deplore some of them to the day of my death. But 
I deplore them as I should have done had they fallen in bat- 
tle. It was necessary to use the arm of the people, a ma- 
chine not quite so blind as balls and bombs, but blind to a 
certain degree. A few of their cordial friends met at their 
hands the fate of enemies. But time and truth will rescue 
and embalm their memories, while their posterity will be en- 
joying that very liberty for which they would never have 
hesitated to offer up their lives. The liberty of the whole 
earth was depending on the issue of the contest, and was 
ever such a prize won with so little innocent blood? My own 
affections have been deeply wounded by some of the martyrs 
to this cause, but rather than it should have failed, I would 
have seen half the earth desolated ; were there but an Adam 
and Eve left in every country, and left free, it would be bet- 
ter than as it now is." * 

Washington, who contemplated the French revolution 
with a less sanguine eye than Jefferson, was simply shocked 
at the atrocities which disgraced it, and at the dangers to be 
apprehended from an unrestrained populace. A letter which 
he received from Gouverneur Morris (dated October 23d), 
placed the condition of the unfortunate Louis XVI., the an- 
cient friend and ally of America, in a light to awaken his 
benevolent sympathy. " You will have seen, ' ' writes Morris, 
4 'that the king is accused of high crimes and misdemeanors; 
but I verily believe that he wished sincerely for this nation 
the enjoyment of the utmost degree of liberty which their 
situation and circumstances will permit. He wished for a 
good constitution, but, unfortunately, he had not the means 

* Letter to Mr. Short. Jefferson's "Works, iii. 501. 

252 U/orl{8 of U/astyii^tor) IruiQ^ 

to obtain it, or, if he had, he was thwarted by those about 
him. What may be his fate God only knows, but history 
informs us that the passage of dethroned monarchs is short 
from the prison to the grave." 

Nothing, however, in all the eventful tidings from France, 
gave Washington greater concern than the catastrophe of his 
friend Lafayette. His first thoughts prompted the consola- 
tion and assistance of the marchioness. In a letter to her he 
writes : ' * If I had words that could convey to you an ade- 
quate idea of my feelings on the present situation of the Mar- 
quis Lafayette, this letter would appear to you in a different 
garb. The sole object in writing to you now is to inform 
you that I have deposited in the hands of Mr. Nicholas Van 
Staphorst of Amsterdam, two thousand three hundred and 
ten guilders, Holland currency, equal to two hundred 
guineas, subject to your orders. 

"This sum is, I am certain, the least I am indebted for 
services rendered me by the Marquis de Lafayette, of which 
1 never yet have received the account. I could add much, 
but it is best, perhaps, that I should say little on this sub- 
ject. Your goodness will supply my deficiency. 

"The uncertainty of your situation, after all the inquiries 
I have made, has occasioned a delay in this address and re- 
mittance; and even now the measure adopted is more the 
effect of a desire to find where you are than from any knowl- 
edge I have obtained of your residence. " 

Mme. de Lafayette, in fact, was at that time a prisoner 
in France, in painful ignorance of her husband's fate. She 
had been commanded by the Jacobin committee to repair to 
Paris about the time of the massacres, but was subsequently 
permitted to reside at Chavaniac, under the surveillance of 
the municipality. 

Cife of U/a8l?ii)<$toi) 253 

We will anticipate events by adding here that some time 
afterward, finding her husband was a prisoner in Austria, 
she obtained permission to leave France, and ultimately, 
with her two daughters, joined him in his prison at Olmutz. 
George Washington Lafayette, the son of the general, de- 
termined to seek an asylum in America. 

In the meantime, the arms of revolutionary France were 
crowned with great success. " Towns fall before them with- 
out a blow," writes Gouverneur Morris, "and the declara- 
tion of rights produces an effect equal at least to the trump- 
ets of Joshua. " But Morris was far from drawing a favorable 
augury from this success. ""We must observe the civil, 
moral, religious and political institutions," said he. "These 
have a steady and lasting effect, and these only. . . . Since 
I have been in this country, I have seen the worship of many 
idols, and but little of the true God. I have seen many of 
those idols broken, and some of them beaten to dust. I have 
seen the late constitution, in one short year, admired as a 
stupendous monument of human wisdom, and ridiculed as 
an egregious production of folly and vice. I wish much, 
very much, the happiness of this inconstant people. I love 
them. I feel grateful for their efforts in our cause, and I 
consider the establishment of a good constitution here as the 
principal means, under Divine Providence, of extending the 
blessings of freedom to the many millions of my fellow- 
men, who groan in bondage on the continent of Europe. 
But I do not greatly indulge the flattering illusions of hope, 
because I do not yet perceive that reformation of morals, 
without which liberty is but an empty sound." * 

* Life of Morris, ii. 248. 

254 U/or^s of U/as^ir>^tor> Iruip^ 


Washington's Entrance upon his Second Term — Gloomy Auspices — 
Execution of Louis XVI. — France declares War against Eng- 
land — Belligerent Excitement in America — Proclamation of 
Neutrality — French Mission to the United States — Genet ar- 
rives in Charleston — His Reception in Philadelphia — Views of 
Jefferson and Hamilton — Washington's dispassionate Opinion 

It was under gloomy auspices, a divided cabinet, and in- 
creasing exasperation of parties, a suspicion of monarchial 
tendencies, and a threatened abatement of popularity, that 
"Washington entered upon his second term of Presidency. It 
was a portentous period in the history of the world, for in a 
little while came news of that tragical event, the beheading 
of Louis XVI. It was an event deplored by many of the 
truest advocates of liberty in America, who, like Washing- 
ton, remembered that unfortunate monarch as the friend of 
their country in her Revolutionary struggle ; but others, zeal- 
ots in the cause of political reform, considered it with com- 
placency, as sealing the downfall of the French monarchy 
and the establishment of a republic. 

An event followed hard upon it to shake the quiet of the 
world. Early in April intelligence was received that France 
had declared war against England. Popular excitement was 
now wound up to the highest pitch. "What, it was asked, 
were Americans to do in such a juncture? Could they re- 
main unconcerned spectators of a conflict between their an- 
cient enemy and republican France? Should they fold their 
arms and look coldly on a war, begun, it is true, by France, 

Cife of \JJas\)iT)$tOT) 255 

but threatening the subversion of the republic, and the re- 
establishment of a monarchial government? 

Many, in the wild enthusiasm of the moment, would at 
once have precipitated the country into a war. Fortunately 
this belligerent impulse was not general, and was checked 
by the calm, controlling wisdom of Washington. He was 
at Mount Vernon when he received news of the war, and 
understood that American vessels were already designated, 
and some even fitting out to serve in it as privateers. He 
forthwith dispatched a letter to Jefferson on the subject. 
"War having actually commenced between France and 
Great Britain," writes he, "it behooves the government 
of this country to use every means in its power to prevent 
the citizens thereof from embroiling us with either of those 
powers, by endeavoring to maintain a, strict neutrality.' ' 

Hastening back to Philadelphia, he held a cabinet coun- 
cil on the 19th of April, to deliberate on the measures proper 
to be observed by the United States in the present crisis; 
and to determine upon a general plan of conduct for the 

In this council it was unanimously determined that a 
proclamation should be issued by the President, "forbidding 
the citizens of the United States to take part in any hostili- 
ties on the seas, and warning them against carrying to the 
belligerents any articles deemed contraband according to the 
modern usages of nations, and forbidding all acts and pro- 
ceedings inconsistent with the duties of a friendly nation 
toward those at war." 

It was unanimously agreed also, that should the republic 
of France send a minister to the United States, he should be 

£To one at the present day questions the wisdom of Wash- 

256 U/orl^s of U/aslpiQ^tor) Irvio<$ 

ington's proclamation of neutrality. It was our true policy 
to keep aloof from European war, in which our power would 
be inefficient, our loss certain. The measure, however, was 
at variance with the enthusiastic feelings and excited pas- 
sions of a large portion of the citizens. They treated it for 
a time with some forbearance, out of long-cherished rever- 
ence for "Washington's name; but his popularity, hitherto 
unlimited, was no proof against the inflamed state of pub- 
lic feeling. The proclamation was stigmatized as a royal 
edict; a daring assumption of power; an open manifestation 
of partiality for England and hostility to France. 

Washington saw that a deadly blow was aimed at his in- 
fluence and his administration, and that both were at hazard ; 
but he was convinced that neutrality was the true national 
policy, and he resolved to maintain it, whatever might be 
his immediate loss of popular favor. His resolution was 
soon put to the test. 

The French republic had recently appointed Edmond 
Charles Genet, or " Citizen Genet,' ' as he was styled, min- 
ister to the United States. He was represented as a young 
man of good parts, very well educated, and of an ardent 
temper. He had served in the bureau of Foreign Affairs 
under the ministry of Vergennes, and been employed in va- 
rious diplomatic situations until the overthrow of the mon- 
archy, when he joined the popular party, became a political 
zealot, and member of the Jacobin club, and was rewarded 
with the mission to America. 

A letter from Gouverneur Morris apprised Mr. Jefferson 
that the Executive Council had furnished Genet with three 
hundred blank commissions for privateers, to be given clan- 
destinely to such persons as he might find in America in- 
clined to take them. "They suppose," writes Morris, "that 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$tOQ 257 

the avidity of some adventurers may lead them into meas- 
ures which would involve altercations with Great Britain, 
and terminate finally in a war." 

Genet's conduct proved the correctness of this informa- 
tion. He had landed at Charleston, South Carolina, from 
the French frigate the "Ambuscade," on the 8th of April, 
a short time before the proclamation of neutrality, and was 
received with great rejoicing and extravagant demonstra- 
tions of respect. His landing at a port several hundred 
miles from the seat of government was a singular move for 
a diplomat ; but his object in so doing was soon evident. It 
is usual for a foreign minister to present his credentials to 
the government to which he comes, and be received by it in 
form before he presumes to enter upon the exercise of his 
functions. Citizen Genet, however, did not stop fcr these 
formalities. Confident in his nature, heated in his zeal, and 
flushed with the popular warmth of his reception, he could 
not pause to consider the proprieties of his mission and the 
delicate responsibilities involved in diplomacy. The con- 
tiguity of Charleston to the "West Indies made it a favor- 
able port for fitting out privateers against the trade of these 
islands; and during Genet's short sojourn there he issued 
commissions for arming and equipping vessels of war for 
that purpose, and manning them with Americans. 

In the latter part of April, Genet set out for the North 
by land. As he proceeded on his journey, the newspapers 
teemed with accounts of the processions and addresses with 
which he was greeted, and the festivities which celebrated 
his arrival at each place. Jefferson, in a letter to Madison 
written from Philadelphia on the 5th of May, observes with 
exultation: "The war between France and England seems 
to be producing an effect not contemplated. All the old 

258 U/orl^s of U/as^iQ^top Irvio$ 

spirit of 1776, rekindling the newspapers from Boston to 
Charleston, proves this; and even the monocrat papers are 
obliged to publish the most furious philippics against Eng- 
land. A French frigate* took a British prize [the 'Grange'] 
off the Capes of Delaware the other day, and sent her up 
here. Upon her coming into sight, thousands and thousands 
of the yeomanry of the city crowded and covered the wharfs. 
Never was there such a crowd seen there ; and when the Brit- 
ish colors were seen reversed, and the French flying above 
them, they burst into peals of exultation. I wish we may be 
able to repress the spirit of the people within the limits of a 
fair neutrality. . . . We expect Genet daily. " 

A friend of Hamilton writes in a different vein. Speak- 
ing of Genet, he observes: "He has a good person, a fine 
ruddy complexion, quite active, and seems always in a bustle, 
more like a busy man than a man of business. A French- 
man in his manners, he announces himself in all companies 
as the minister of the republic, etc., talks freely of his com- 
mission, and, like most Europeans, seems to have adopted 
mistaken notions of the penetration and knowledge of the 
people of the United States. His system, I think, is to laugh 
us into the war if he can. ,, 

On the 16th of May, Genet arrived at Philadelphia. His 
belligerent operations at Charleston had already been made 
a subject of complaint to the government by Mr. Hammond, 
the British minister ; but they produced no abatement in the 
public enthusiasm. "It was suspected,' ' writes Jefferson, 
"that there was not a clear mind in the President's counsel- 
ors to receive Genet. The citizens, however, determined to 
receive him. Arrangements were taken for meeting him at 

* The "Ambuscade." 

Cife of U/asl?iQ<$tor> 259 

Gray's Ferry, in a great body. He escaped that, by arriv- 
ing in town with the letters which brought information that 
he was on the road." * 

On the following day, various societies and a large body 
of citizens waited upon him with addresses, recalling with 
gratitude the aid given by France in the achievement of 
American independence, and extolling and rejoicing in the 
success of the arms of the French republic. On the same 
day, before Genet had presented his credentials and been 
acknowledged by the President, he was invited to a grand 
republican dinner, "at which," we are told, "the company 
united in singing the Marseilles hymn. A deputation of 
French sailors presented themselves, and were received by 
the guests with the fraternal embrace.' The table was 
decorated with the 'tree of liberty,' and a red cap, called 
the cap of liberty, was placed on the head of the minister, 
and from his traveled in succession from head to head round 
the table." f 

This enthusiasm of the multitude was regarded with in- 
dulgence, if not favor, by Jefferson, as being the efferves- 
cence of the true spirit of liberty; but was deprecated by 
Hamilton as an infatuation that might "do us much harm, 
and could do France no good." A letter, written by him at 
the time, is worthy of full citation, as embodying the senti- 
ments of that party of which he was the leader. * ' It cannot 
be without danger and inconvenience to our interests, to im- 
press on the nations of Europe an idea that we are actuated 
by the same spirit which has for some time past fatally mis- 
guided the measures of those who conduct the affairs of 

* Letter to Madison, Works, iii. 562. 
f Jay's Life, vol. i., p. 301. 

260 U/orKs of U/asf?ir)<$tor) Irvio<$ 

France, and sullied a cause once glorious, and that might 
have been triumphant. The cause of France is compared 
with that of America during its late revolution. Would to 
Heaven that the comparison were just! Would to Heaven 
we could discern, in the mirror of French affairs, the same 
decorum, the same gravity, the same order, the same dig- 
nity, the same solemnity, which distinguished the cause of 
the American revolution! Clouds and darkness would not 
then rest upon the issue as they now do. I own I do not 
like the comparison. When I contemplate the horrid and 
systematic massacres of the 3d and 3d of September; when 
I observe that a Marat and a Robespierre, the notorious 
prompters of those bloody scenes, sit triumphantly in the 
convention, and take a conspicuous part in its measures — 
that an attempt to bring the assassins to justice has been 
obliged to be abandoned — when I see an unfortunate prince, 
whose reign was a continued demonstration of the goodness 
and benevolence of his heart, of his attachment to the people 
of whom he was the monarch, who, though educated in the 
lap of despotism, had given repeated proofs that he was not 
the enemy of liberty, brought precipitately and ignominiously 
to the block without any substantial proof of guilt, as yet 
disclosed — without even an authentic exhibition of motives, 
in decent regard to the opinions of mankind ; when I find the 
doctrines of atheism openly advanced in the convention, and 
heard with loud applauses; when I see the sword of fanati- 
cism extended to force a political creed upon citizens who 
were invited to submit to the arms of France as the harbing- 
ers of liberty; when I behold the hand of rapacity out- 
stretched to prostrate and ravish the monuments of relig- 
ious worship, erected by those citizens and their ancestors ; 
when I perceive passion, tumult, and violence usurping those 

Cife of U/asl?ii}$to!) 261 

seats, where reason and cool deliberation ought to preside, I 
acknowledge that I am glad to believe there is no real resem- 
blance between what was the cause of America and what is 
the cause of France ; that the difference is no less great than 
that between liberty and licentiousness. I regret whatever 
has a tendency to confound them, and I feel anxious, as an 
American, that the ebullitions of inconsiderate men among 
us may not tend to involve our reputation in the issue." * 

Washington, from his elevated and responsible situation, 
endeavored to look beyond the popular excitement, and re- 
gard the affairs of France with a dispassionate and impartial 
eye ; but he confessed that he saw in the turn they 'had lately 
taken the probability of a terrible confusion, to which he 
could predict no certain issue : a boundless ocean whence no 
land was to be seen. He feared less, he said, for the cause 
of liberty in France from the pressure of foreign enemies, 
than from the strifes and quarrels of those in whose hands 
the government was intrusted, who were ready to tear each 
other to pieces, and would more probably prove the worst 
foes the country had. 


Genet presents his Letter of Credence — His Diplomatic Speech — 
Washington's Conversation with Jefferson — Capture of the Ship 
"Grange" and other British Vessels — Question of Restitution — 
Dissatisfaction of Genet — Demands Release of two American 
Citizens — Washington's Sensitiveness to the Attacks of the 
Press — His unshaken Determination 

On the 18th of May, Genet presented his letter of cre- 
dence to the President; by whom, notwithstanding his late 

* Hamilton's Works, v. 566. 

£62 U/or^s of U7asl?iD$tOD In/ipo* 

unwarrantable proceedings at Charleston, he was well re- 
ceived ; Washington taking the occasion to express his sin- 
cere regard for the French nation. 

Jefferson, who, as Secretary of State, was present, had 
all his warm sympathies in favor of France roused by Ge- 
net's diplomatic speech. 

"It was impossible," writes he to Madison, "for anything 
to be more affectionate, more magnanimous, than the pur- 
port of Genet's mission. 'We wish you to do nothing,' said 
he, 'but what is for your own good, and we will do all in our 
power to promote it. Cherish your own peace and prosper- 
ity. You have expressed a willingness to enter into a more 
liberal commerce with us; I bring full powers to form such 
a treaty, and a preliminary decree of the National Conven- 
tion to lay open our country and its colonies to you, for every 
purpose of utility, without your participating the burdens of 
maintaining and defending them. We see in you the only 
person on earth who can love us sincerely, and merit to be 
so loved.' In short, he offers everything, and asks nothing." 

"Yet I know the offers will be opposed," adds Jefferson, 
"and suspect they will not be accepted. In short, my dear 
sir, it is impossible for you to conceive what is passing in 
our conclave ; and it is evident that one or two, at least, un- 
der pretense of avoiding war on the one side, have no great 
antipathy to run foul of it on the other, and to make a part 
in the confederacy of princes against human liberty." 

The "one or two," in the paragraph above cited, no 
doubt, imply Hamilton and Knox. 

Washington again, in conversation, endeavored to coun- 
teract these suspicions which were swaying Jefferson's mind 
against his contemporaries. We give Jefferson's own ac- 
count of the conversation. "He (Washington) observed 

Cife of U/a8l?ii}$toi? 263 

that, if anybody wanted to change the form of our govern- 
ment into a monarchy, he was sure it was only a few indi- 
viduals, and that no man in the United States would set his 
face against it more than himself; but that this was not 
what he was afraid of; his fears were from another quarter; 
that there was more danger of anarchy being introduced." 

He then adverted to Freneau's paper and its partisan hos- 
tilities. He despised, he said, all personal attacks upon him- 
self, but observed that there never had been an act of the 
government which that paper had not abused. "He was 
evidently sore and warm," adds Jefferson, "and I took his 
intention to be that I should interpose in some way with 
Freneau ; perhaps, withdraw his appointment of translating 
clerk in my office. But I will not do it." 

It appears to us rather an ungracious determination on 
the part of Jefferson to keep this barking cur in his employ, 
when he found him so annoying to the chief whom he pro- 
fessed, and we believe with sincerity, to revere. Neither 
are his reasons for so doing satisfactory, savoring, as they 
do, of those strong political suspicions already noticed. <{ His 
(Freneau's) paper," observed he, "has saved our constitu- 
tion, which was galloping fast into monarchy, and has been 
checked by no means so powerfully as by that paper. It is 
well and universally known that it has been that paper 
which checked the career of the monocrats; the President, 
not sensible of the designs of the party, has not, with his 
usual good sense and sangfroid, looked on the efforts and 
effects of this free press, and seen that, though some bad 
things have passed through it to the public, yet the good 
have preponderated immensely."* 

* Works, ix. 143. 

264 U/orKs of U/asbip^toi) Irvirjq 

Jefferson was mistaken. Washington had regarded the 
efforts and effects of this free press with his usual good 
sense; and the injurious influence it exercised in public 
affairs was presently manifested in the transactions of the 
government with Genet. The acts of this diplomatic per- 
sonage at Charleston had not been the sole ground of the 
complaint preferred by the British minister. The capture 
of the British vessel, the ' 'Grange," by the frigate "Ambus- 
cade," formed a graver one. Occurring within our waters, 
it was a clear usurpation of national sovereignty, and a vio- 
lation of neutral rights. The British minister demanded a 
restitution of the prize, and the cabinet were unanimously of 
opinion that restitution should be made ; nor was there any 
difficulty with the French minister on this head ; but restitu- 
tion was likewise claimed of other vessels captured on the 
high seas, and brought into port by the privateers authorized 
by Genet. In regard to these there was a difference of sen- 
timent in the cabinet. Hamilton and Knox were of opinion 
that the government should interpose to restore the prizes; it 
being the duty of a neutral nation to remedy any injury sus- 
tained by armaments fitted out in its ports. Jefferson and 
Randolph contended that the case should be left to the decis- 
ion of the courts of justice. If the courts adjudged the com- 
missions issued by Genet to be invalid, they would, of course, 
decide the captures made under them to be void, and the 
property to remain in the original owners; if, on the other 
hand, the legal right to the property had been transferred to 
the captors, they would so decide. 

Seeing this difference of opinion in the cabinet, Washing- 
ton reserved the point for further deliberation ; but directed 
the Secretary of State to communicate to the ministers of 
France and Britain the principles in which they concurred j 

Cife of U7asr;ir^ton 2G5 

these being considered as settled. Circular letters, also, were 
addressed to the governors of several States, requiring their 
co-operation, with force, if necessary, to carry out the rules 
agreed upon. 

Genet took umbrage at these decisions of the government, 
and expressed his dissatisfaction in a letter, complaining of 
them as violations of natural right, and subversive of tha 
existing treaties between the two nations. His letter, though 
somewhat wanting in strict decorum of language, induced 
a review of the subject in the cabinet; and he was informed 
that no reason appeared for changing the system adopted. 
He was further informed that, in the opinion of the execu- 
tive, the vessels which had been illegally equipped should 
depart from the ports of the United States. 

Genet was not disposed to acquiesce in these decisions. 
He was aware of the grateful feelings of the nation to 
France : of the popular disposition to go all lengths short of 
Avar, in her favor ; of the popular idea that republican inter- 
ests were identical on both sides of the Atlantic ; that a royal 
triumph over republicanism in Europe would be followed by 
a combination to destroy it in this country. He had heard 
the clamor among the populace, and uttered in Freneau's 
" Gazette" and other newspapers against the policy of neu- 
trality ; the people, he thought, were with him, if Washington 
was not, and he believed the latter would not dare to risk his 
popularity in thwarting their enthusiasm. He persisted, 
therefore, in disregarding the decisions of the government, 
and spoke of them as a departure from the obligations it 
owed to France; a cowardly abandonment of friends when 
danger menaced. 

Another event added to the irritation of Genet. Two 
American citizens, whom he had engaged at Charleston, to 

Vol. XV.— ***12 

266 ll/or^s of U/as^iQ^top IrvityQ 

cruise in the service of France, were arrested on board of the 
privateer, conducted to prison, and prosecutions commenced 
against them. The indignant feelings of Genet were vented 
in an extraordinary letter to the Secreta^ of State. When 
speaking of their arrest, "The crime laid to their charge,'' 
writes he — "the crime which my mind cannot conceive, and 
which my pen almost refuses to state — is the serving of 
France, and defending with her children the common glo- 
rious cause of liberty. 

"Being ignorant of any positive law or treaty which de- 
prives Americans of this privilege, and authorizes officers of 
police arbitrarily to take mariners in the service of France 
from on board of their vessels, I call upon your intervention, 
sir, and that of the President of the United States, in order 
to obtain the immediate releasement of the above-mentioned 
officers, who have acquired, by the sentiments animating 
them, and by the act of their engagement, anterior to any 
act to the contrary, the right of French citizens, if they have 
lost that of American citizens." 

The lofty and indignant tone of this letter had no effect 
in shaking the determination of government, or obtaining 
the release of the prisoners. Washington confesses, how- 
ever, that he was very much harried and perplexed by the 
"disputes, memorials, and what not," with which he was 
pestered, by one or other of the powers at war. It was a 
sore trial of his equanimity, his impartiality and his discrimi 
nation, and wore upon his spirits and his health. "The Pres- 
ident is not well," writes Jefferson to Madison (June 9th); 
"little lingering fevers have been hanging about him for a 
week or ten days, and affected his looks most remarkably. 
He is also extremely affected by the attacks made and kept 
up on him, in the public papers. I think he feels these 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$toi7 2G7 

things more than any other person I ever yet met with. I 
am sincerely sorry to see them." 

Jefferson's sorrow was hardly in accordance with the 
resolution expressed by him, to retain Freneau in his office, 
notwithstanding his incessant attacks upon the President 
and the measures of his government. Washington might 
well feel sensitive to these attacks, which Jefferson acknowl- 
edges were the more mischievous, from being planted on 
popular ground, on the universal love of the people to France 
and its cause. But he was not to be deterred by personal 
considerations from the strict line of his duty. He was 
aware that, in withstanding the public infatuation in re- 
gard to France, he was putting an unparalleled popularity 
at hazard ; but he put it at hazard without hesitation ; and, 
in so doing, set a magnanimous example for his successors 
in office to endeavor to follow. 


Washington called to Mount Vernon — The case of the "Little 
Sarah" comes up in his Absence — Governor Mifflin determined 
to prevent her Departure — Rage of Genet — Jefferson urges De- 
tention of the Privateer until the President's Return — Evasive 
Assurance of Genet — Distrust of Hamilton and Knox — Wash- 
ington returns to Philadelphia — A Cabinet Council — Its De- 
termination communicated to Genet — The Vessel sails in De- 
fiance of it — Formation of the Democratic Society — The Recall 
of Genet determined on — The Ribald Lampoon — Washington's 

In the latter part of July, "Washington was suddenly 
called to Mount Vernon by the death of Mr. Whiting, the 
manager of his estates. During his brief absence from the 
seat of government occurred the case of the " Little Sarah. 

T J 

268 U/orl^s of U/asfyio^too Irvir}$ 

This was a British merchant vessel which had been captured 
by a French privateer, and brought into Philadelphia, where 
she had been armed and equipped for privateering ; manned 
with one hundred and twenty men, many of them Ameri- 
cans, and her name changed into that of "Le Petit Demo- 
crat." This, of course, was in violation of "Washington's 
decision, which had been communicated to Genet. 

General Mifflin, now Governor of Penns3dvania, being 
informed, on the 6th of July, that the vessel was to sail the 
next day, sent his secretary, Mr. Dallas, at midnight to Ge- 
net, to persuade him to detain her until the President should 
arrive, intimating that otherwise force would be used to pre- 
vent her departure. 

Genet flew into one of the transports of passion to which 
he was prone ; contrasted the treatment experienced by him 
from the officers of government with the attachment to his 
nation professed by the people at large; declared that the 
President was not the sovereign of the country, and had no 
right, without consulting Congress, to give such instructions 
as he had issued to the State governors; threatened to 
appeal from his decision to the people, and to repel force 
by force, should an attempt be made to seize the pri- 

Apprised of this menace, Governor Mifflin forthwith or- 
dered out one hundred and twenty of the militia to take 
possession of the privateer, and communicated the circum- 
stances of the case to the cabinet. 

Mr. Jefferson now took the matter in hand, and, on the 
7th of July, in an interview with Genet, repeated the re- 
quest that the privateer be detained until the arrival of the 
President. Genet, he writes, instantly took up the subject 
in a very high tone, and went into an immense field of dec- 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$toQ 269 

iamation and complaint. Jefferson made a few efforts to be 
heard, but, finding them ineffectual, suffered the torrent of 
vituperation to pour on. He sat in silence, therefore, while 
Genet charged the government with having violated the 
treaties between the two nations; with having suffered its 
flag to be insulted and disregarded by the English, who 
stopped its vessels on the high seas, and took out of them 
whatever they suspected to be French property. He de- 
clared that he had been thwarted and opposed in everything 
he had to do with the government; so that he sometimes 
thought of packing up and going away, as he found he could 
not be useful to his nation in anything. He censured the 
executive for the measures it had taken without consulting 
Congress, and declared that, on the President's return, he 
would certainly press him to convene that body. 

He had by this time exhausted his passion and moderated 
his tone, and Jefferson took occasion to say a word. "I 
stopped him," writes he, "at the subject of calling Congress; 
explained our constitution to him as having divided the func- 
tions of government among three different authorities, the 
executive, legislative, and judiciary, each of which were su- 
preme on all questions belonging to their department, and 
independent of the others; that all the questions which had 
arisen between him and us belonged to the executive depart- 
ment, and, if Congress were sitting, could not be carried to 
them, nor would they take notice of them." 

Genet asked with surprise if Congress were not the sov- 

"No," replied Jefferson. "They are sovereign only in 
making laws; the executive is the sovereign in executing 
them, and the judiciary in construing them, where they re- 
late to that department." 

270 U/orKs of U/asfrip^top Jrvin^ 

"But, at least," cried Genet, "Congress are bound to see 
that the treaties are observed. ' ' 

"No,'' rejoined Jefferson. "There are very few cases, 
indeed, arising out of treaties which they can take notice of. 
The President is to see that treaties are observed.' ' 

"If he decides against the treaty,' ' demanded Genet, "to 
whom is a nation to appeal?" 

"The constitution," replied Jefferson, "has made the 
President the last appeal." 

Genet, perfectly taken aback at finding his own igno- 
rance in the matter, shrugged his shoulders, made a bow, 
and said, "he would not compliment Mr. Jefferson on such 
a constitution!" 

He had now subsided into coolness and good humor, and 
the subject of the "Little Sarah" being resumed, Jefferson 
pressed her detention until the President's return; intimating 
that her previous departure would be considered a very 
serious offense. 

Genet made no promise, but expressed himself very 
happy to be able to inform Mr. Jefferson that the vessel 
was not in a state of readiness ; she had to change her posi- 
tion that day, he said, and fall down the river, somewhere 
about the lower end of the town, for the convenience of 
taking some things on board, and would not depart 

When Jefferson endeavored to extort an assurance that 
she would await the President's return, he evaded a direct 
committal, intimating, however, by look and gesture, that 
she would not be gone before that time. "But let me be- 
seech you," said he, "not to permit any attempt to put men 
on board of her. She is filled with high-spirited patriots, 
and they will unquestionably resist. And there is no occa- 

Cife of U/a8l?ir)$tot) 271 

sion, for I tell you she will not be ready to depart for some 

Jefferson was accordingly impressed with the belief that 
the privateer would remain in the river until the President 
should decide on her case, and, on communicating this con- 
viction to the governor, the latter ordered the militia to be 

Hamilton and Knox, on the other hand, were distrustful, 
and proposed the immediate erection of a battery on Mud 
Island, with guns mounted to fire at the vessel, and even 
to sink her, if she attempted to pass. Jefferson, however, 
refusing to concur in the measure, it was not adopted. The 
vessel, at that time, was at Gloucester Point, but soon fell 
down to Chester. 

Washington arrived at Philadelphia on the 11th of July; 
when papers requiring " instant attention" were put into his 
hands. They related to the case of the "Little Sarah," 
and were from Jefferson, who, being ill with fever, had 
retired to his seat in the country. Nothing could ex- 
ceed the displeasure of Washington when he examined 
these papers. 

In a letter written to Jefferson, on the spur of the mo- 
ment, he puts these indignant queries : * ' What is to be done 
in the case of the 'Little Sarah,' now at Chester? Is the 
minister of the French republic to set the acts of this govern- 
ment at defiance with impunity? And then threaten the 
executive with an appeal to the people! What must the 
world think of such conduct, and of the government of 
the United States in submitting to it? 

4 'These are serious questions. Circumstances press for 
decision, and, as you have had time to consider them (upon 
me they come unexpectedly), I wish to know your opinion 

272 WorKs of U/asl?iD$toi} Irving 

upon them, even before to-morrow, for the vessel may then 
be gone." 

Mr. Jefferson, in a reply of the same date, informed the 
President of his having received assurance, that day, from 
Mr. Genet, that the vessel would not be gone before his (the 
President's) decision. 

In consequence of this assurance of the French minister, 
no immediate measures of a coercive nature were taken with 
regard to the vessel ; but, in a cabinet council held the next 
day, it was determined to detain in port all privateers which 
had been equipped within the United States by any of the 
belligerent powers. 

No time was lost in communicating this determination 
to Genet; but, in defiance of it, the vessel sailed on her 

It must have been a severe trial of "W ashington's spirit 
to see his authority thus braved and insulted, and to find 
that the people, notwithstanding the indignity thus offered 
to their chief magistrate, sided with the aggressors, and 
exulted in their open defiance of his neutral policy. 

About this time a society was formed under the auspices 
of the French minister and in imitation of the Jacobin clubs 
of Paris. It was called the Democratic Society, and soon 
gave rise to others throughout the Union; all taking the 
French side in the present questions. The term democrat, 
thenceforward, began to designate an ultra-republican. 

Fresh mortifications awaited Washington, from the dis- 
tempered state of public sentiment. The trial came on of 
Gideon Hen field, an American citizen, prosecuted under the 
advice of the Attorney-general, for having enlisted, at 
Charleston, on board of a French privateer which had 
brought prizes into the port of Philadelphia. The populace 

Cife of U/a8f?ir)<$tor> 273 

iook part with Henfield. He had enlisted before the proc- 
lamation of neutrality had been published, and even if he 
had enlisted at a later date, was he to be punished for en* 
gaging with their ancient ally, France, in the cause of liberty 
against the royal despots of Europe? His acquittal exposed 
Washington to the obloquy of having attempted a measure 
which the laws would not justify. It showed him, more- 
over, the futility of attempts at punishment for infractions 
of the rules proclaimed for the preservation of neutrality; 
while the clamorous rejoicing by which the acquittal of 
Henfield had been celebrated evinced the popular disposition 
to thwart the line of policy which he considered most calcu- 
lated to promote the public good. Nothing, however, could 
induce him to swerve from that policy. "I have consolation 
within," said he, "that no earthly effort can deprive me of, 
and that is, that neither ambitious nor interested motives 
have influenced my conduct. The arrows of malevolence, 
therefore, however barbed and well-pointed, can never reach 
the most vulnerable part of me; though, while I am set up 
as a mark, they will be continually aimed." * 

Hitherto Washington had exercised great forbearance 
toward the French minister, notwithstanding the little re- 
spect shown by the latter to the rights of the United States ; 
but the official communications of Genet were becoming too 
offensive and insulting to be longer tolerated. Meetings of 
the heads of departments and the Attorney-general were held 
at the President's on the 1st and 2d of August, in which 
ttie whole of the official correspondence and conduct of Genet 
was passed in review ; and it was agreed that his recall should 
be desired. Jefferson recommended that the desire should be 

* Letter to Governor Lee. Sparks, x. 359. 

374 ll/orl^s of U/asfyir^too lrvfo$ 

expressed with great delicacy ; the others were for peremptory 
terms. Knox was for sending him off at once, but this prop- 
osition was generally scouted. In the end it was agreed that 
a letter should be written to Gouverneur Morris, giving a 
statement of the case, with accompanying documents, that 
he might lay the whole before the executive council of 
France, and explain the reason for desiring the recall 
of Mr. Genet. 

It was proposed that a publication of the whole corre- 
spondence, and a statement of the proceedings, should be 
made by way of appeal to the people. This produced ani- 
mated debates. Hamilton spoke with great warmth in favor 
of an appeal. Jefferson opposed it. "Genet," said he, "will 
appeal also; it will become a contest between the President 
and Genet. Anonymous writers will take it up. There 
will be the same difference of opinion in public as in our 
cabinet — there will be the same difference in Congress, for 
it must be laid before them. It would work, therefore, very 
unpleasantly at home. How would it work abroad?* 

"Washington, already weary and impatient under the in- 
cessant dissensions of his cabinet, was stung by the sugges- 
tion that he might be held up as in conflict with Genet, and 
subjected, as he had been, to the ribaldry of the press. At 
this unlucky moment Knox blundered forth with a specimen 
of the scandalous libels already in circulation ; a pasquinade 
lately printed, called the Funeral of George Washington, 
wherein the President was represented as placed upon the 
guillotine, a horrible parody on the late decapitation of the 
French king. "The President," writes Jefferson, "now 
burst forth into one of those transports of passion beyond 
his control; inveighed against the personal abuse which had 
been bestowed upon him, and defied any man on earth to 

Cife of U/a8l?ii>$toi? 275 

produce a single act of his since he had been in the govern- 
ment that had not been done on the purest motives. 

"He had never repented but once the having slipped the 
moment of resigning his office, and that was every moment 
since. In the agony of his heart he declared that he had 
rather be in his grave than in his present situation; that 
he had rather be on his farm than to be made emperor of 
the world — and yet, he said, indignantly, they are charging 
me with wanting to be a king ! 

"All were silent during this outburst of feeling — a pause 
ensued — it was difficult to resume the question. Washing- 
ton, however, who had recovered his equanimity, put an 
end to the difficulty. There was no necessity, he said, for 
deciding the matter at present; the propositions agreed to, 
respecting the letter to Mr. Morris, might be put into a train 
of execution, and, perhaps, events would show whether the 
appeal would be necessary or not." * 


Threatened Dissolution of the Cabinet — Action between the "Am- 
buscade" and "Boston" — Triumphant return of the former to 
New York — A French Fleet arrives same Day — Excitement of 
the People — Genet arrives in the midst of it — His enthusiastic 
Reception — Is informed by Jefferson of the Measures for his 
Recall — His Rage and Reply — Decline of his Popularity 

Washington had hitherto been annoyed and -perplexed 
by having to manage a divided cabinet; he was now threat- 
ened with that cabinet's dissolution. Mr. Hamilton had 

* Jefferson's Works, ix. 164. 

276 U/or^s of U/a8l?ir>^tor? Iruir?^ 

informed him, by letter, that private as well as public rea- 
sons had determined him to retire from office toward the 
close of the next session; probably with a view to give 
Congress an opportunity to examine into his conduct. Now 
came a letter from Mr. Jefferson, dated July 31st, in which 
he recalled the circumstances which had induced him to post- 
pone for a while his original intention of retiring from office 
at the close of the first four years of the republic. These 
circumstances, he observed, had now ceased to such a degree 
as to leave him free to think again of a day on which to 
withdraw; "at the close, therefore, of the ensuing month 
of September, I shall beg leave to retire to scenes of greater 
tranquillity from those for which I am every day more and 
more convinced that neither my talents, tone of mind, nor 
time of life fit me." 

Washington was both grieved and embarrassed by this 
notification. Full of concern, he called upon Jefferson at 
his country residence near Philadelphia; pictured his deep 
distress at finding himself, in the present perplexing juncture 
of affairs, about to be deserted by those of his cabinet on 
whose counsel he had counted, and whose places he knew 
not where to find persons competent to supply; and, in his 
chagrin, again expressed his repentance that he himself had 
not resigned as he had once meditated. 

The public mind, he went on to observe, was in an alarm- 
ing state of ferment ; political combinations of various kinds 
were forming; where all this would end he knew not. A 
new Congress was to assemble, more numerous than the 
last, perhaps of a different spirit; the first expressions of 
its sentiments would be important, and it would relieve him 
considerably if Jefferson would remain in office, if it were 
only until the end of the session. 

Cife of \JJas\)iT)$tor) 277 

Jefferson, in reply, pleaded an excessive repugnance to 
public life ; and, what seems to have influenced him more 
sensibly, the actual uneasiness of his position. He was 
obliged, he said, to move in exactly the circle which he knew 
to bear him peculiar hatred; "the wealthy aristocrats, the 
merchants connected closely with England; the newly- 
created paper fortunes." Thus surrounded, his words were 
caught, multiplied, misconstrued, and even fabricated, and 
spread abroad to his injury. 

Mr. Jefferson pleaded, moreover, that the opposition of 
views between Mr. Hamilton and himself was peculiarly un- 
pleasant, and destructive of the necessary harmony. With 
regard to the republican party he was sure it had not a view 
which went to the frame of the government; he believed the 
next Congress would attempt nothing material but to render 
their own body independent; the maneuvers of Mr. Genet 
might produce some little embarrassment, but the repub- 
licans would abandon that functionary the moment they 
knew the nature of his conduct. 

"Washington replied that he believed the views of the 
republican party to be perfectly pure: "but when men put 
a machine into motion," said he, "it is impossible for them 
to stop it exactly where they would choose, or to say where 
it will stop. The constitution we have is an excellent one, 
if we can keep it where it is." 

He again adverted to Jefferson's constant suspicion that 
there was a party disposed to change the constitution into 
a monarchial form, declaring that there was not a man in 
the United States who would set his face more decidedly 
against such a change than himself. 

"No rational man in the United States suspects you of 
any other disposition," cried Jefferson; "but there does not 

278 U/or^s of Wastyr)$tor) Irvio$ 

pass a week in which we cannot prove declarations dropping 
from the monarchial party that our government is good for 
nothing; is a milk-and-water thing which cannot support 
itself; that we must knock it down and set up something 
with more energy." 

"If that is the case," rejoined "Washington, "it is a proof 
of their insanity, for the republican spirit of the Union is so 
manifest and so solid that it is astonishing how any one can 
expect to move it." 

We have only Jefferson's account of this and other inter- 
esting interviews of a confidential nature which he had with 
the President, and we give them generally almost in his own 
words, through which, partial as they may have been, we 
discern Washington's constant efforts to moderate the grow- 
ing antipathies between the eminent men whom he had 
sought to assist him in conducting the government. He 
continued to have the highest opinion of Jefferson's abilities, 
his knowledge of foreign affairs, his thorough patriotism; 
and it was his earnest desire to retain him in his cabinet 
through the whole of the ensuing session of Congress ; before 
the close of which he trusted the affairs of the country 
relating to foreign powers, Indian disturbances, and internal 
policy, would have taken a more decisive, and, it was to be 
hoped, agreeable form than they then had. A compromise 
was eventually made, according to which Jefferson was to 
be allowed a temporary absence in the autumn, and on his 
return was to continue in office until January. 

In the meantime Genet had proceeded to New York, 
which very excitable city was just then in a great agitation. 
The frigate "Ambuscade," while anchored in the harbor, 
had been challenged to single combat by the British frigate 
"Boston," Captain Courtney, which was cruising off the 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$toi) 279 

Hook. The challenge was accepted ; a severe action ensued ; 
Courtney was killed; and the "Boston," much damaged, 
was obliged to stand for Halifax. The "Ambuscade" re- 
turned triumphant to New York, and entered the port amid 
the enthusiastic cheers of the populace. On the same day, 
a French fleet of fifteen sail arrived from the Chesapeake 
and anchored in the Hudson River. The officers and crews 
were objects of unbounded favor with all who inclined to 
the French cause. Bompard, the commander of the "Am- 
buscade," was the hero of the day. Tri-colored cockades 
and tri-colored ribbons were to be seen on every side, and 
rude attempts to chant the Marseilles Hymn and the Car- 
magnole resounded through the streets. 

In the midst of this excitement, the ringing of bells and 
the firing of cannon announced that Citizen Genet was arrived 
at Powles Hook Ferry, directly opposite the city. There was 
an immediate assemblage of the republican party in the fields 
now called the Park. A committeee was appointed to escort 
Genet into the city. He entered it amid the almost frantic 
cheerings of the populace. Addresses were made to him 
expressing devoted attachment to the French republic, and 
abjuring all neutrality in regard to its heroic struggle. 
"The cause of France is the cause of America," cried the 
enthusiasts; "it is time to distinguish its friends from its 
foes." Genet looked around him. The tri-colored cockade 
figured in the hats of the shouting multitude; tri-colored 
ribbons fluttered from the dresses of females in the windows; 
the French flag was hoisted on the top of the Tontine Coffee 
House (the City Exchange), surmounted by the cap of liberty. 
Can we wonder that what little discretion Genet possessed was 
completely overborne by this tide of seeming popularity? 

In the midst of his self-gratulation and complacency, 

280 U/orl^s of U/astyio^tor) Iruio$ 

however, he received a letter from Mr. Jefferson (Sept. 15th), 
acquainting him with the measures taken to procure his 
recall, and inclosing a copy of the letter written for that 
purpose to the American minister at Paris. It was added 
that, out of anxious regard lest the interests of France might 
suffer, the Executive would, in the meantime, receive his 
(M. Genet's) communications in writing, and admit the 
continuance of his functions so long as they should be re 
strained within the law as theretofore announced to him, 
and should be of the tenor usually observed toward inde- 
pendent nations, by the representative of a friendly power 
residing with them. 

The letter of the Secretary of State threw Genet into 
a violent passion, and produced a reply (Sept. 18th), written 
while he was still in a great heat. In this he attributed his 
disfavor with the American government to the machinations 
of "those gentlemen who had so often been represented to 
him as aristocrats, partisans of monarchy, partisans of Eng- 
land and her constitution, and consequently enemies of the 
principles which all good Frenchmen had embraced with 
religious enthusiasm. " "These persons," he said, "alarmed 
by the popularity which the zeal of the American people for 
the cause of France had shed upon her minister; alarmed 
also by his inflexible and incorruptible attachment to the 
severe maxims of democracy, were striving to ruin him in 
his own country, after having united all their efforts to ca- 
lumniate him in the minds of their fellow-citizens. ,, 

"These people," observes he, "instead of a democratic 
embassador, would prefer a minister of the ancient regime, 
very complaisant, very gentle, very disposed to pay court 
to people in office, to conform blindly to everything which 
flattered their views and projects j above all, to prefer to the 

Cife of \JJas\)\T)QtOT) 281 

sure and modest society of good farmers, simple citizens, 
and honest artisans, that of distinguished personages who 
speculate so patriotically in the public funds, in the lands, 
and the paper of government." 

In his heat, Genet resented the part Mr. Jefferson had 
taken, notwithstanding their cordial intimacy, in the present 
matter, although this part had merely been the discharge 
of an official duty. "Whatever, sir," writes Genet, "may be 
the result of the exploit of which you have rendered your- 
self the generous instrument, after having made me believe 
that you were my friend, after having initiated me in the 
mysteries which have influenced my hatred against all those 
who aspire to absolute power, there is an act of justice which 
the American people, which the French people, which all 
free people are interested in demanding; it is, that a par- 
ticular inquiry should be made, in the approaching Congress, 
into the motives which have induced the chief of the execu- 
tive power of the United States to take upon himself to de- 
mand the recall of a public minister, whom the sovereign 
people of the United States have received fraternally and 
recognized, before the diplomatic forms had been fulfilled 
in respect to him at Philadelphia." 

The wrongs of which Genet considered himself entitled 
to complain against the executive commenced before his 
introduction to that functionary. It was the proclamation 
of neutrality which first grieved his spirit. "I was ex- 
tremely wounded," writes he, "that the President of the 
United States should haste, before knowing what I had to 
transmit on the part of the French republic, to proclaim 
sentiments over which decency and friendship should at 
least have thrown a veil." 

He was grieved, moreover, that on his first audience the 

282 U/or^g of U/as^ir^tor) Irvip$ 

President had spoken only of the friendship of the United 
States for France, without uttering a word or expressing 
a single sentiment in regard to its revolution, although all 
the towns, all the villages from Charleston to Philadelphia, 
had made the air resound with their ardent voices for the 
French republic. And what further grieved his spirit was 
to observe "that this first magistrate of a free people had 
decorated his saloon with certain medallions of Capet [mean- 
ing Louis XVI.] and his family, which served in Paris for 
rallying signs." 

We forbear to cite further this angry and ill-judged letter. 
Unfortunately for Genet's ephemeral popularity, a rumor 
got abroad that he had expressed a determination to appeal 
from the President to the people. This at first was con- 
tradicted, but was ultimately established by a certificate of 
Chief -justice Jay, and Mr. Rufus King, of the United States 
Senate, which was published in the papers. 

The spirit of audacity thus manifested by a foreign minis- 
ter shocked the national pride. Meetings were held in every 
part of the Union to express the public feeling in the matter. 
In these meetings the proclamation of neutrality and the 
system of measures flowing from it were sustained, partly 
from a conviction of their wisdom and justice, but more from 
an undiminished affection for the person and character of 
Washington ; for many who did not espouse his views were 
ready to support him in the exercise of his constitutional 
functions. The warm partisans of Genet, however, were 
the more vehement in his support from the temporary ascen- 
dency of the other party. They advocated his right to appeal 
from the Pesident to the people. The President, they argued, 
was invested with no sanctity to make such an act criminal. 
In a republican country the people were the real sovereigns. 

Cife of U/asl?i9$toij 283 


Neutrality endangered by Great Britain — Her Ill-advised Measures 
— Detention of Vessels bound for France — Impressment of 
American Seamen — Persistence in holding the Western Posts 
— Congress assembles in December — The President's opening 
Speech— His Censure of Genet — The Vice-President's Allusion 
to it — The Administration in a Minority in the House — Procla- 
mation of Neutrality sustained — Jefferson's Report— Retires 
from the Cabinet — His parting Rebuke to Genet — His Char- 
acter of Washington 

While the neutrality of the United States, so jealously- 
guarded by Washington, was endangered by the intrigues 
of the French minister, it was put to imminent hazard by 
ill-advised measures of the British cabinet. 

There was such a scarcity in France, in consequence of 
the failure of the crops, that a famine was apprehended. 
England, availing herself of her naval ascendency, deter- 
mined to increase the distress of her rival by cutting off all 
her supplies from abroad. In June, 1793, therefore, her 
cruisers were instructed to detain all vessels bound to France 
with cargoes of corn, flour, or meal, take them into port, un- 
load them, purchase the cargoes, make a proper allowance 
for the freight, and then release the vessels ; or to allow the 
masters of them, on a stipulated security, to dispose of their 
cargoes in a port in amity with England. This measure 
gave umbrage to all parties in the United States, and brought 
out an earnest remonstrance from the government, as being 
a violation of the law of neutrals, and indefensible on any 
proper construction of the law of nations. 

'284 U/orl^s of U/ast?ir?$t:or} ]rv\r)Q 

Another grievance which helped to swell the tide of re- 
sentment against Great Britain was the frequent impress- 
ment of American seamen, a wrong to which they were 
particularly exposed from national similarity. 

To these may be added the persistence of Great Britain 
in holding the posts to the south of the lakes, which, accord- 
ing to treaty stipulations, ought to have been given up. 
Washington did not feel himself in a position to press our 
rights under the treaty with the vigorous hand that some 
would urge; questions having risen, in some of the State 
courts, to obstruct the fulfillment of our part of it, which 
regarded the payment of British debts contracted before 
the war. 

The violent partisans of France thought nothing of these 
shortcomings on our own part, and would have had the forts 
seized at once; but Washington considered a scrupulous dis- 
charge of our own obligations the necessary preliminary, 
should so violent a measure be deemed advisable. His pru- 
dent and conscientious conduct in this particular, so in uni- 
son with the impartial justice which governed all his actions, 
was cited by partisan writers, as indicative of his preference 
of England to "our ancient ally." 

The hostilities of the Indians north of the Ohio, by many 
attributed to British wiles, still continued. The attempts at 
an amicable negotiation had proved as fruitless as Washing- 
ton had anticipated. The troops under Wayne had, there- 
fore, taken the field to act offensively; but, from the lateness 
of the season, had formed a winter camp near the site of the 
present city of Cincinnati, whence Wayne was to open his 
campaign in the ensuing spring. 

Congress assembled on the 2d of December (1793), with 
various causes of exasperation at work; the intrigues of 

Cife of U/asl?i9<$toi) 285 

Genet and the aggressions of England uniting to aggravate 
to a degree of infatuation the partiality for France, aud ren- 
der imminent the chance of a foreign war. 

Washington, in his opening speech, after expressing his 
deep and respectful sense of the renewed testimony of public 
approbation manifested in his re-election, proceeded to state 
the measures he had taken, in consequence of the war in Eu- 
rope, to protect the rights and interests of the United States, 
and maintain peaceful relations with the belligerent parties. 
Still he pressed upon Congress the necessity of placing the 
country in a condition of complete defense. "The United 
States,' ' said he, "ought not to indulge a persuasion that, 
contrary to the order of human events, they will forever 
keep at a distance those painful appeals to arms with which 
the history of every nation abounds. There is a rank due to 
the United States among nations, which will be withheld, if 
not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we 
desire to avoid insult we must be able to repel it ; if we de- 
sire to secure peace— one of the most powerful instruments 
of our prosperity — it must be known that we are, at all 
times, ready for war." In the spirit of these remarks, he 
urged measures to increase the amount of arms and ammu- 
nition in the arsenals, and to improve the militia establish- 

One part of his speech conveyed an impressive admoni- 
tion to the House of Representatives: "No pecuniary con- 
sideration is more urgent than the regular redemption and 
discharge of the public debt; in none can delay be more in- 
jurious, or an economy of time more valuable." The neces- 
sity of augmenting the public revenue in a degree commen- 
surate with the objects suggested was likewise touched upon. 

In concluding his speech, he endeavored to impress upon 

286 U/or^s of U/a8t?ii?$tor) Iruio$ 

his hearers the magnitude of their task, the important inter* 
ests confided to them, and the conscientiousness that should 
reign over their deliberations. "Without an unprejudiced 
coolness, the welfare of the government may be hazarded ; 
without harmony, as far as consists with freedom of senti- 
ment, its dignity may be lost. But, as the legislative pro- 
ceedings of the United States will never, I trust, be re- 
proached for the want of temper or of candor, so shall not 
the public happiness languish for the want of my strenuous 
and warmest co-operation." 

In a message to both Houses, on the 5th of December, 
concerning foreign relations, Washington spoke feelingly 
with regard to those with the representative and executive 
bodies of France: "It is with extreme concern I have to in- 
form you that the proceedings of the person whom they have 
unfortunately appointed their minister plenipotentiary here, 
have breathed nothing of the friendly spirit of the nation 
which sent him; their tendency, on the contrary, has been 
to involve us in war abroad, and discord and anarchy at 
home. So far as his acts, or those of his agents, have threat- 
ened our immediate commitment in the war, or flagrant in- 
sult to the authority of the laws, their effect has been coun- 
teracted by the ordinary cognizance of the laws, and by an 
exertion of the powers confided to me. Where their danger 
was not imminent, they have been borne with, from senti- 
ments of regard for his nation ; from a sense of their friend- 
ship toward us; from a conviction that they would not 
suffer us to remain long exposed to the action of a person 
who has so little respected our mutual dispositions; and I 
will add from a reliance on the firmness of my fellow-citizens 
in their principles of peace and order." 

John Adams, speaking of this passage of the message^ 

Cife of U/a&bir^top 287 

says: "The President has given Genet a bolt of thunder." 
He questioned, however, whether Washington would be sup- 
ported in it by the two Houses — "although he stands, at 
present, as high in the admiration and confidence of the 
people as ever he did, I expect he will find many bitter and 
desperate enemies arise in consequence of his just judg- 
ment against Genet. ' ' * 

In fact, the choice of Speaker showed that there was a 
majority of ten against the administration in the House of 
Representatives; yet it was manifest, from the affectionate 
answer on the 6th, of the two Houses, to "Washington's 
speech, and the satisfaction expressed at his re-election, that 
he was not included in the opposition which, from this act, 
appeared to await his political system. The House did jus- 
tice to the purity and patriotism of the motives which had 
prompted him again to obey the voice of his country, when 
called by it to the Presidential chair. "It is to virtues which 
have commanded long and universal reverence, and services 
from which have flowed great and lasting benefits, that the 
tribute of praise may be paid without the reproach of flat- 
tery ; and it is from the same sources that the fairest antici- 
pations may be derived in favor of the public happiness.' ' 

Notwithstanding the popular ferment in favor of France, 
both Houses seemed to have approved the course pursued by 
Washington in regard to that country ; and as to his procla- 
mation of neutrality, while the House approved of it in 
guarded terms, the Senate pronounced it a "measure well- 
timed and wise; manifesting a watchful solicitude for the 
welfare of the nation, and calculated to promote it." 

Early in the session, Mr. Jefferson, in compliance with a 

* Letter to Mrs. Adams. Life, vol. i., p. 460. 

288 U/or^s of U/asfyir7<$tor) lruir?<$ 

requisition which the House of Representatives had made, 
Feb. 23, 1791, furnished an able and comprehensive report 
of the state of trade of the United States with different coun- 
tries; the nature and extent of exports and imports, and the 
amount of tonnage of the American shipping: specifying, 
also, the various restrictions and prohibitions by which our 
commerce was embarrassed, and, in some instances, almost 
ruined. "Two methods," he said, "presented themselves, 
by which these impediments might be removed, modified, 
or counteracted — friendly arrangement or countervailing 
legislation. Friendly arrangements were preferable with 
all who would come into them, and we should carry into 
such arrangements all the liberality and spirit of accommo- 
dation which the nature of the case would admit. But," he 
adds, "should any nation continue its system of prohibitive 
duties and regulations, it behooves us to protect our citizens, 
their commerce and navigation, by counter prohibitions, du- 
ties, and regulations." To effect this, he suggested a series 
of legislative measures of a retaliatory kind.* 

"With this able and elaborate report, Jefferson closed his 
labors as Secretary of State. His last act was a kind of 
parting gun to Mr. Genet. This restless functionary had, 
on the 20th of December, sent to him translations of the in- 
structions given him by the executive council of France ; de- 
siring that the President would lay them officially before 
both Houses of Congress, and proposing to transmit, succes- 
sively, other papers to be laid before them in like manner. 

Jefferson, on the 31st of December, informed Genet that 
he had laid his letter and its accompaniments before the 
President. "I have it in charge to observe," adds he, "that 

* See Jefferson's AYorks, vol. vii. 

Cife of U/ast?ii7$toi) 289 

your functions as the missionary of a foreign nation here are 
confined to the transactions of the affairs of your nation with 
the Executive of the United States ; that the communications 
which are to pass between the executive and legislative 
branches cannot be a subject for your interference, and that 
the President must be left to judge for himself what matters 
his duty or the public good may require him to propose to 
the deliberations of Congress. I have, therefore, the honor 
of returning you the copies sent for distribution, and of be- 
ing, with great respect, sir, your most obedient and most 
humble servant." 

Such was Jefferson's dignified rebuke of the presumptu- 
ous meddling of Genet, and indeed his whole course of offi- 
cial proceedings with that minister, notwithstanding his per- 
sonal intimacy with him and his strong French partialities, 
is worthy of the highest approbation. Genet, in fact, who 
had calculated on Jefferson's friendship, charged him openly 
with having a language official and a language confidential ; 
but it certainly was creditable to him, as a public functionary 
in a place of high trust, that, in his official transactions, he 
could rise superior to individual prejudices and partialities, 
and consult only the dignity and interests of his country. 

"Washington had been especially sensible of the talents 
and integrity displayed by Jefferson during the closing year 
of his secretaryship, and particularly throughout this French 
perplexity, and had recently made a last attempt, but an un- 
successful one, to persuade him to remain in the cabinet. 

On the same day with his letter to Genet, Jefferson ad 
dressed one to "Washington, reminding him of his having post- 
poned his retirement from office until the end of the annual 
year. "That term being now arrived," writes he, "and my 

propensities to retirement becoming daily more and more ir- 

Vol. XV.—* * * 13 

290 ll/or^s of U/asl?iQ<$t:oi? Iruip<$ 

resistible, I now take the liberty of resigning the office into 
your hands. Be pleased to accept it with my sincere thanks 
for all the indulgences which you have been so good as to 
exercise toward me in the discharge of its duties. Conscious 
that my need of them has been great, I have still ever found 
them greater, without any other claim on my part than a 
firm pursuit of what has appeared to me to be right, and 
a thorough disdain of all means which were not as open and 
honorable as their object was pure. I carry into my retire- 
ment a lively sense of your goodness, and shall continue 
gratefully to remember it." 

The following was Washington's reply: " Since it has 
been impossible to prevent you to forego any longer the in- 
dulgence of your desire for private life, the event, however 
anxious I am to avert it, must be submitted to. 

"But I cannot suffer you to leave your station without 
assuring you that the opinion which I had formed of your 
integrity and talents, and which dictated your original nomi- 
nation, has been confirmed by the fullest experience, and 
that both have been eminently displayed in the discharge 
of your duty." 

The place thus made vacant in the cabinet was filled by 
Mr. Edmund Randolph, whose office of Attorney-general was 
conferred on Mr. ^William Bradford, of Pennsylvania. 

No one seemed to throw off the toils of office with more 
delight than Jefferson; or to betake himself with more devo- 
tion to the simple occupations of rural life. It was his boast, 
in a letter to a friend, written some time after his return to 
Monticello, that he had seen no newspaper since he had left 
Philadelphia, and he believed he should never take another 
newspaper of any sort. "I think it is Montaigne," writes 
he, "who has said that ignorance is the softest pillow on 

Cife of lI/a8*?ir)<$toi) 2U1 

which a man can rest his head. I am sure it is true as to 
everything political, and shall endeavor to estrange myself 
to everything of that character." Yet the very next sen- 
tence shows the lurking of the old party feud. "I indulge 
myself in one political topic only — that is, in declaring to my 
countrymen the shameless corruption of a portion of the rep- 
resentatives of the first and second Congresses, and their 
implicit devotion to the treasury." * 

We subjoin his comprehensive character of Washington, 
the result of long observation and cabinet experience, and 
written in after years, when there was no temptation to 
insincere eulogy: 

"His integrity was most pure; his justice the most in- 
flexible I have ever known; no motives of interest or con- 
sanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his 
decision. He was, indeed, in every sense of the word, a 
wise, a good, and a great man." 


Debate on Jefferson's Report on Commercial Intercourse — A Naval 
Force proposed for the Protection of Commerce against Pirat- 
ical Cruisers — Further Instances of the Audacity of Genet — His 
Recall — Arrival of his Successor — Irritation excited by British 
Captures of American Vessels — Preparations for Defense — Em- 
bargo — Intense Excitement at "British Spoliations'' — Partisans 
of France in the ascendant — A Chance for Accommodating 
Difficulties — Jefferson's Hopes of Reconciliation — The War Cry 
uppermost — Washington determines to send a Special Envoy to 
the British Government — Jefferson's Letter to Tench Coxe 

Public affairs were becoming more and more compli- 
cated, and events in Europe were full of gloomy portent. 

* Letter to E. Randolph. Works, iv. 103. 

292 U/or^s of U/ast?iQ$too Iruio$ 

"The news of this evening,' ' writes John Adams to his wife, 
on the 9th of January, "is that the queen of France is no 
more. When will savages be satisfied with blood? No pros- 
pect of peace in Europe, therefore none of internal harmony 
in America. We cannot well be in a more disagreeable situ- 
ation than we are with all Europe, with all Indians, and with 
all Barbary rovers. Nearly one half of the continent is in 
constant opposition to the other, and the President's situa 
tion, which is highly responsible, is very distressing.' ' 

Adams speaks of having had two hours' conversation 
with Washington alone in his cabinet, but intimates that 
he could not reveal the purport of it, even by a hint ; it had 
satisfied him, however, of Washington's earnest desire to do 
right ; his close application to discover it, and his deliberate 
and comprehensive view of our affairs with all the world. 
"The anti-federalists and the Frenchified zealots," adds 
Adams, "have nothing now to do that I can conceive of 
but to ruin his character, destroy his peace, and injure his 
health. He supports all their attacks with firmness, and 
his health appears to be very good." * 

The report of Mr. Jefferson on commercial intercourse 
was soon taken up in the House, in a committee of the 
whole. A series of resolutions based on it, and relating to 
the privileges and restrictions of the commerce of the United 
States, were introduced by Mr. Madison, and became the 
subject of a warm and acrimonious debate. The report up- 
held the policy of turning the course of trade from England 
to France, by discriminations in favor of the latter ; and the 
resolutions were to the same purport. The idea was to op- 
pose commercial resistance to commercial injury; to enforce 

* Life of John Adams, vol. i., p. 461. 

Cife of U/asl?ii7<$toi) 293 

a perfect commercial equality by retaliating impositions, as- 
suming that the commercial system of Great Britain was 
hostile to the United States — a position strongly denied by 
some of the debaters. 

Though the subject was, or might seem to be, of a purely 
commercial nature, it was inevitably mixed up with political 
considerations, according as a favorable inclination to Eng- 
land or France was apprehended. The debate waxed warm 
as it proceeded, with a strong infusion of bitterness. Fisher 
Ames stigmatized the resolutions as having French stamped 
upon the very face of them. "Whereupon Colonel Parker, of 
Virginia, wished that there were a stamp on the forehead of 
every one to designate whether he were for France or Eng- 
land. For himself, he would not be silent and hear that na- 
tion abused to whom America was indebted for her rank as 
a nation. There was a burst of applause in the gallery ; but 
the indecorum was rebuked by the galleries being cleared. 

The debate, which had commenced on the 13th of Janu- 
ary (1794), was protracted to the 3d of February, when the 
question being taken on the first resolution, it was carried by 
a majority of only five, so nearly were parties divided. The 
further consideration of the remaining resolutions was post- 
poned to March, when it was resumed, but, in consequence 
of the new complexion of affairs, was suspended without a 

The next legislative movement was also productive of 
a warm debate, though connected with a subject which ap- 
pealed to the sympathies of the whole nation. Algerine cor- 
sairs had captured eleven American merchant vessels, and 
upward of one hundred prisoners, and the regency mani- 
fested a disposition for further outrages. A bill was intro- 
duced into Congress proposing a force of six frigates to pro- 

294 U/orKs of U/a8^ii>($top Iruip$ 

tect the commerce of the United States against the cruisers 
of this piratical power. The bill met with strenuous opposi- 
tion. The force would require time to prepare it; and would 
then be insufficient. It might be laying the foundation of a 
large permanent navy and a great public debt. It would be 
cheaper to purchase the friendship of Algiers with money, 
as was done by other nations of superior maritime force, or 
to purchase the protection of those nations. It seems hardly 
credible at the present day that such policy could have been 
urged before an American Congress, without provoking a 
burst of scorn and indignation ; yet it was heard without any 
emotion of the kind; and, though the bill was eventually 
passed by both Houses, it was but by a small majority. It 
received the hearty assent of the President. 

In the course of this session, fresh instances had come be- 
fore the government of the mischievous activity and audac- 
ity of Genet ; showing that, not content with compromising 
the neutrality of the United States at sea, he was attempting 
to endanger it by land. From documents received, it ap- 
peared that in November he had sent emissaries to Ken- 
tucky, to enroll American citizens in an expedition against 
New Orleans and the Spanish possessions ; furnishing them 
with blank commissions for the purpose.* It was an enter- 
prise in which the adventurous people of that State were 
ready enough to embark, through enthusiasm for the French 
nation and impatience at the delay of Spain to open the navi- 
gation of the Mississippi. Another expedition was to pro- 
ceed against the Floridas ; men for the purpose to be enlisted 
at the South, to rendezvous in Georgia, and to be aided by a 
body of Indians and by a French fleet, should one arrive on 
the coast. 

* American State Papers, ii. 36. 

Cife of U/asbir^top 295 

A proclamation from Governor Moultrie checked all such 
enlistments in South Carolina, but brought forth a letter from 
Genet to Mr. Jefferson, denying that he had endeavored to 
raise an armed force in that State for the service of the re- 
public: "At the same time," adds he, "I am too frank to 
conceal from you that, authorized by the French nation to 
deliver brevets to such of your fellow-citizens who feel ani- 
mated by a desire to serve the fairest of causes, I have ac- 
corded them to several brave republicans of South Carolina, 
whose intention appeared to me to be, in expatriating them- 
selves, to go among the tribes of independent Indians, an- 
cient friends and allies of France, to inflict, if they could, in 
concert with them, the harm to Spaniards and Englishmen 
which the governments of those two nations had the base- 
ness to do for a long time to your fellow citizens, under the 
name of these savages, the same as they have done recently 
under that ot the Algerines. ,, 

Documents relating to these transactions were communi- 
cated to Congress by Washington early in January. But, 
though the expedition set on foot in South Carolina had been 
checked, it was subsequently reported that the one in Ken- 
tucky against Louisiana was still in progress and about to 
descend the Ohio. 

These schemes showed such determined purpose, on the 
part of Genet, to undermine the peace of the United States, 
that Washington, without waiting a reply to the demand for 
his recall, resolved to keep no further terms with that head- 
long diplomat. The dignity, possibly the safety of the United 
States, depended upon immediate measures. 

In a cabinet council it was determined to supersede Ge- 
net's diplomatic functions, deprive him of the consequent 
privileges, and arrest his person j a message to Congress, 

296 U/orl^s of U/astyir^toi} Irving 

avowing such determination, was prepared, but at this crit- 
ical juncture came dispatches from Gouverneur Morris, an- 
nouncing Genet's recall. 

The French minister of foreign affairs had, in fact, repro- 
bated the conduct of Genet as unauthorized by his instruc- 
tions and deserving of punishment, and Mr. Fauchet, secre- 
tary of the executive council, was appointed to succeed him. 
Mr. Fauchet arrived in the United States in February. 

About this time vigilance was required to guard against 
wrongs from an opposite quarter. "We have noticed the or- 
ders issued by Great Britain to her cruisers in June, 1793, 
and the resentment thereby excited in the United States. 
On the 6th of the following month of November, she had 
given them additional instructions to detain all vessels laden 
with the produce of any colony belonging to France, or 
carrying supplies to any such colony, and to bring them, 
with their cargoes, to British ports, for adjudication in the 
British courts of admiralty. 

Captures of American vessels were taking place in con- 
sequence of these orders, and heightening public irritation. 
They were considered indicative of determined hostility on 
the part of Great Britain, and they produced measures in 
Congress preparatory to an apprehended state of war. An 
embargo was laid, prohibiting all trade from the United 
States to any foreign place for the space of thirty days, and 
vigorous preparations for defense were adopted with but little 

On the 27th of March, resolutions were moved that all 
debts due to British subjects be sequestered and paid into the 
treasury, as a fund to indemnify citizens of the United States 
for depredations sustained from British cruisers, and that 
all intercourse with Great Britain be interdicted until she 

Cife of U/a8^ir><?toQ 297 

had made compensation for these injuries, and until she 
should make surrender of the Western posts. 

The popular excitement was intense. Meetings were 
held on the subject of British spoliations. "Peace or war" 
was the absorbing question. The partisans of France were 
now in the ascendent. It was scouted as pusillanimous any 
longer to hold terms with England. "No doubt," said they, 
"she despises the proclamation of neutrality, as an evidence 
of timidity; every motive of self-respect calls on the people 
of the United States to show a proper spirit." 

It was suggested that those who were in favor of resisting 
British aggressions should mount the tri-colored cockade; 
and forthwith it was mounted by many; while a democratic 
society was formed to correspond with the one at Philadel- 
phia, and aid in giving effect to these popular sentiments. 

While the public mind was in this inflammable state, 
Washington received advices from Mr. Pinckney, the Amer- 
ican minister in London, informing him that the British 
ministry had issued instructions to the commanders of armed 
vessels, revoking those of the 6th of November, 1793. Lord 
Grenville, also, in conversation with Mr. Pinckney, had 
explained the real motives for that order, showing that, 
however oppressive in its execution, it had not been intended 
for the special vexation of American commerce. 

Washington laid Pinckney' s letter before Congress on the 
4th of April. It had its effects on both parties ; federalists 
saw in it a chance of accommodating difficulties, and, there- 
fore, opposed all measures calculated to irritate; the other 
party did not press their belligerent propositions to any 
immediate decision, but showed no solicitude to avoid a 

Jefferson, though reputed to be the head of the French 

208 U/orKs of U/ash?ii?$toi7 Iruir)$ 

party, avowed in a letter to Madison his hope that war would 
not result, but that justice would be obtained in a peaceable 
way ; * and he repeats the hope in a subsequent letter. ' * My 
countrymen," writes he, "are groaning under the insults of 
Great Britain. I hope some means will turn up of recon- 
ciling our faith and honor with peace. I confess to you, 
I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see 
another." f 

" 'Tis as great an error," writes Hamilton, at the same 
time, "for a nation to overrate as to underrate itself. Pre- 
sumption is as great a fault as timidity. 'Tis our error to 
overrate ourselves and underrate Great Britain; we forget 
how little we can annoy, how much we may be annoyed. ' ' \ 

The war cry, however, is too obvious a means of popular 
excitement to be readily given up. Busy partisans saw that 
the feeling of the populace was belligerent, and every means 
were taken by the press and the democratic societies to exas- 
perate this feeling; according to them the crisis called, not 
for moderation, but for decision, for energy. Still to adhere 
to a neutral position would argue tameness — cowardice! 
Washington, however, was too morally brave to be clamored 
out of his wise moderation by such taunts. He resolved 
to prevent a war, if possible, by an appeal to British justice, 
to be made through a special envoy, who should represent 
to the British government the injuries we had sustained 
from it in various ways, and should urge indemnification. 

The measure was decried by the party favorable to 
France, as an undue advance to the British government; 
but they were still more hostile to it when it was rumored 

* Jefferson's Works, vol. iv., p. 102. 

t lb., vol. iv., p. 104. Letter to John Adams. 

X Hamilton's Works, iv. 528. 

Cife of Ufa&tyyqtor) 299 

that Hamilton was to be chosen for the mission. A member 
of the House of Representatives addressed a strong letter 
to the President, deprecating the mission, but especially the 
reputed choice of the envoy. James Monroe, also, at that 
time a member of the Senate, remonstrated against the 
nomination of Hamilton, as injurious to the public interest, 
and to the interest of Washington himself, and offered to 
explain his reasons to the latter in a private interview. 

Washington declined the interview, but requested Mr. 
Monroe, if possessed of any facts which would disqualify 
Mr. Hamilton for the mission, to communicate them to him 
in writing. 

" Colonel Hamilton and others have been mentioned," 
adds he, "but no one is yet absolutely decided upon in my 
mind. But as much will depend, among other things, upon 
the abilities of the person sent, and his knowledge of the 
affairs of this country, and as I alone am responsible for a 
proper nomination, it certainly behooves me to name such 
a one as, in my judgment, combines the requisites for a mis- 
sion so peculiarly interesting to the peace and happiness of 
this country." 

Hamilton, however, aware of the "collateral obstacles" 
which existed with respect to himself, had resolved to advise 
Washington to drop him from the consideration, and to fix 
upon another character; and recommended John Jay, the 
Chief -justice of the United States, as the man whom it 
would be advisable to send. "I think," writes he, "the 
business would have the best chance possible in his hands, 
and I flatter myself that his mission would issue in a man- 
ner that would produce the most important good to the 
nation." * 

* Hamilton's Works, vol. iv., p. 531. 

300 U/orKs of \JJa&l)ir)qtor) Iruir}<$ 

Mr. Jay was the person ultimately chosen. Washington, 
in his message, thus nominating an additional envoy to Great 
Britain, expressed undiminished confidence in the minister 
actually in London. "But a mission like this," observes 
he, "while it corresponds with the solemnity of the occasion, 
will announce to the world a solicitude for a friendly adjust- 
ment of our complaints and a reluctance to hostility. Going 
immediately from the United States, such an envoy will 
carry with him a full knowledge of the existing temper and 
sensibility of our country, and will thus be taught to vindi- 
cate our rights with firmness, and to cultivate peace with 
sincerity. ' ' 

The nomination was approved by a majority of ten 

By this sudden and decisive measure Washington sought 
to stay the precipitate impulses of public passion; to give 
time to put the country into a complete state of defense, and 
to provide such other measures as might be necessary if 
negotiation, in a reasonable time, should prove unsuccessful.* 

Notwithstanding the nomination of the envoy, the resolu- 
tion to cut off all intercourse with Great Britain passed the 
House of Representatives, and was only lost in the Senate 
by the casting vote of the Vice-President, which was given, 
according to general belief, "not from a disinclination to the 
ulterior expedience of the measure, but from a desire," pre- 
viously, "to try the effect of negotiation." f 

While Washington was thus endeavoring to steer the 
vessel of State amid the surges and blasts which were threat- 
ening on every side, Jefferson, who had hauled out of the 

* Letter to Edmund Randolph. Writings, x. 403. 
f Washington to Tobias Lear. Idem., 401. 

Cife of U/a8l?ir>^toi) 301 

storm, writes serenely from his retirement at Monticello, 
to his friend Tench Coxe, at Paris: 

"Your letters give a comfortable view of French affairs, 
and later events seem to confirm it Over the foreign powers 
1 am convinced they will triumph completely, and I cannot 
but hope that that triumph, and the consequent disgrace of 
the invading tyrants, is destined, in order of events, to kindle 
the wrath of Europe against those who have dared to embroil 
them in such wickedness, and to bring, at length, kings, 
nobles and priests to the scaffolds which they have been so 
long deluging with human blood. I am still warm when- 
ever I think of these scoundrels, though I do it as seldom 
as I can, preferring infinitely to contemplate the tranquil 
growth of my lucerne and potatoes. I have so completely 
withdrawn myself from these spectacles of usurpation and 
misrule, that I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one 
a month; and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it."* 


James Monroe appointed Minister to France in place of Gouverneur 
Morris recalled — His Reception — Pennsylvania Insurrection — 
Proclamation of Washington — Perseverance of the Insurgents 
— Second Proclamation — The President proceeds against them 
— General Morgan — Lawrence Lewis— Washington arranges a 
Plan of Military Operations — Returns to Philadelphia, leav- 
ing Lee in Command — Submission of the Insurgents— The Presi- 
dent's Letter on the Subject to Jay, Minister at London 

The French government having so promptly complied 
with the wishes of the American government in recalling 

* Works, iv. 104. 

803 U/orKs of U/astyr^too Iruip$ 

Citizen Genet, requested, as an act of reciprocity, the recall 
of Gouverneur Morris, whose political sj mpathies were con- 
sidered highly aristocratical. The request was granted 
accordingly, but Washington, in a letter to Morris, notify- 
ing him of his being superseded, assured him of his own 
undiminished confidence and friendship. 

James Monroe, who was appointed in his place, arrived 
at Paris in a moment of great reaction. Robespierre had 
terminated his bloody career on the scaffold, and the reign 
of terror was at an end. The new minister from the United 
States was received in public by the Convention. The senti- 
ments expressed by Monroe, on delivering his credentials, 
were so completely in unison with the feelings of the moment 
that the President of the Convention embraced him with 
emotion, and it was decreed that the American and French 
flags should be entwined and hung up in the hall of the 
Convention, in sign of the union and friendship of the two 

Chiming in with the popular impulse, Monroe presented 
the American flag to the Convention, on the part of his 
country. It was received with enthusiasm, and a decree 
was passed that the national flag of France should be trans- 
mitted, in return, to the government of the United States. 

Washington, in the meantime, was becoming painfully 
aware that censorious eyes at home were keeping a watch 
upon his administration, and censorious tongues and pens 
were ready to cavil at every measure. "The affairs of this 
country cannot go wrong," writes he ironically to Gouver- 
neur Morris; "there are so many watchful guardians of 
them, and such infallible guides, that no one is at a loss for 
a director at every turn." 

This is almost the only instance of irony to be found in 

Cife of UVasbio^tOQ 303 

bis usually plain, direct correspondence, and to us is mourn- 
fully suggestive of that soreness and weariness of heart with 
which he saw his conscientious policy misunderstood or mis- 
represented, and himself becoming an object of party hostility. 

Within three weeks after the date of this letter, an insur- 
rection broke out in the western part of Pennsylvania on 
account of the excise law. We have already mentioned the 
riotous opposition this law had experienced. Bills of indict- 
ment had been found against some of the rioters. The 
marshal, when on the way to serve the processes issued by 
the court, was fired upon by armed men, and narrowly es- 
caped with his life. He was subsequently seized and com- 
pelled to renounce the exercise of his official duties. The 
house of General Nevil, inspector of the revenue, was 
assailed, but the assailants were repulsed. They assem- 
bled in greater numbers; the magistrates and militia officers 
shrank from interfering, lest it should provoke a general 
insurrection ; a few regular soldiers were obtained from the 
garrison at Fort Pitt. There was a parley. The insurgents 
demanded that the inspector and his papers should be given 
up ; and the soldiers march out of the house and ground their 
arms. The demand being refused, the house was attacked, 
the outhouses set on fire, and the garrison wast compelled 
to surrender. The marshal and inspector finally escaped 
out of the country ; descended the Ohio, and, by a circuitous 
route, found their way to the seat of government; bringing 
a lamentable tale of their misadventures. 

Washington deprecated the result of these outrageous 
proceedings. "If the laws are to be so trampled upon with 
impunity," said he, "and a minority, a small one, too, is to 
dictate to the majority, there is an end put, at one stroke, 
to republican government." 

304 U/orl^s of U/asl?iQ<$tor; Irvip$ 

It was intimated that the insurgent district could bring 
seven thousand men into the field. Delay would only swell 
the growing disaffection. On the 7th of August Washing- 
ton issued a proclamation, warning the insurgents to dis- 
perse, and declaring that if tranquillity were not restored 
before the 1st of September, force would be employed to 
compel submission to the laws. To show that this was not 
an empty threat, he, on the same day, made a requisition 
on the governors of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, 
and Virginia for militia to compose an army of twelve 
thousand men; afterward augmented to fifteen thousand. 

In a letter to the Governor of Virginia (Light-horse 
Harry Lee), he says: "I consider this insurrection as the 
first formidable fruit of the Democratic Societies, brought 
forth, I believe, too prematurely for their own views, which 
may contribute to the annihilation of them. 

"That these societies were instituted by the artful and 
designing members (many of their body, I have no doubt, 
mean well, but know little of the real plan), primarily to sow 
among the people the seeds of jealousy and distrust of the 
government, by destroying all confidence in the administra- 
tion of it, and that these doctrines have been budding and 
blowing ever since, is not new to any one who is acquainted 
with the character of their leaders, and has been attentive 
to their maneuvers. I early gave it as my opinion to the 
confidential characters around me, that if these societies were 
not counteracted (not by prosecutions, the ready way to make 
them grow stronger), or did not fall into disesteem from the 
knowledge of their origin, and the views with which they 
had been instituted by their father, Genet, for purposes well 
known to the government, they would shake the govern- 
ment to its foundation." 

Cife of \l/astyr)$toT) 305 

The insurgents manifesting a disposition to persevere 
in their rebellious conduct, the President issued a second 
proclamation on the 25th of September, describing in forcible 
terms the perverse and obstinate spirit with which the lenient 
propositions of government had been met, and declaring his 
fixed purpose to reduce the refractory to obedience. Shortly 
after this he left Philadelphia for Carlisle, to join the army, 
then on its march to suppress the insurrection in the western 
part of Pennsylvania. 

Just as Washington was leaving Philadelphia, a letter 
was put into his hands from Major-general Morgan. The 
proclamation had roused the spirit of that Revolutionary 
veteran. He was on his way, he wrote, to join the expedi- 
tion against the insurgents, having command of a division 
of the Virginia militia, of which General Lee was com- 

Washington replied from Carlisle to his old companion 
in arms: " Although I regret the occasion which has called 
you into the field, I rejoice to hear you are there ; and it is 
probable I may meet you at Fort Cumberland, whither I 
shall proceed as soon as I see the troops at this rendezvous 
in condition to advance. At that place, or at Bedford, my 
ulterior resolution must be taken, either to advance with the 
troops into the insurgent counties of this State, or to return 
to Philadelphia for the purpose of meeting Congress the 3d 
of next month. 

''Imperious circumstances alone can justify my absence 
from the seat of government, while Congress are in session; 
but if these, from the disposition of the people in the refrac- 
tory counties, and the state of the information I expect to 
receive at the advanced posts, should appear to exist, the 
less must yield to the greater duties of my office, and I 

306 U/or^s of UVasr;ir}<$tOQ Iruio$ 

shall cross the mountains with the troops; if not, I shall 
place the command of the combined force under the 
orders of Governor Lee of Virginia, and repair to the 
seat of government." 

We will here note that Lawrence Lewis, a son of Wash- 
ington's sister, Mrs. Fielding Lewis, having caught the spirit 
of arms, accompanied Morgan as aid-de-camp, on this expe- 
dition. The prompt zeal with which he volunteered into the 
service or his country was, doubtless, highly satisfactory to 
his uncle, with whom, it will be seen, he was a great favorite. 

On the 9th of October Washington writes from Carlisle 
to the Secretary of State: "The insurgents are alarmed, but 
not yet brought to their proper senses. Every means is 
devised by them and their friends and associates, to induce 
a belief that there is no necessity for troops crossing the 
mountains; although we have information, at the same time, 
that part of the people there are obliged to embody them- 
selves, to repel the insults of another part." 

On the 10th, the Pennsylvania troops set out from Car- 
lisle for their rendezvous at Bedford, and Washington pro- 
ceeded to Williamsport, thence to go on to Fort Cumberland, 
the rendezvous of the Virginia and Maryland troops. He 
arrived at the latter place on the 16th of October, and found 
a respectable force assembled from those States, and learned 
that fifteen hundred more from Virginia were at hand. All 
accounts agreed that the insurgents were greatly alarmed 
at the serious appearance of things. "I believe," writes 
Washington, "the eyes of all the well-disposed people of this 
country will soon be opened, and that they will clearly see 
the tendency, if not the design, of the leader of the self- 
created societies. As far as I have heard them spoken of, 
it is with strong reprobation." 

Cife of U/asl?iD<$toi? 307 

At Bedford he arranged matters and settled a plan of 
military operations. The Governors of Virginia, Maryland, 
and Pennsylvania were at the head of the troops of their 
respective States, but Governor Lee was to have the general 
command. This done, Washington prepared to shape his 
course for Philadelphia — "but not," says he indignantly, 
"because the impertinence of Mr. Bache, or his correspon- 
dent, has undertaken to pronounce that I cannot, constitu- 
tionally, command the army, while Congress is in session." 

In a letter to Governor Lee, on leaving him in command, 
he conveyed to the army the very high sense he entertained 
"of the enlightened and patriotic zeal for the constitution 
and the laws which had led them cheerfully to quit their 
families, homes, and the comforts of private life, to under- 
take, and thus far to perform, a long and fatiguing march, 
and to encounter and endure the hardships and privations 
of a military life." 

"No citizen of the United States," observes he, "can 
ever be engaged in a service more important to their country. 
It is nothing less than to consolidate and to- preserve the 
blessings of that revolution which, at much expense of blood 
and treasure, constituted us a free and independent nation." 

His parting admonition is — "that every officer and soldier 
will constantly bear in mind, that he comes to support the 
laws, and that it would be peculiarly unbecoming in him 
to be, in any way, the infractor of them ; that the essential 
principles of a free government confine the province of the 
military, when called forth on such occasions, to these two 
objects : first, to combat and subdue all who may be found 
in arms in opposition to the national will and authority; 
secondly, to aid and support the civil magistrates in bringing 
offenders to justice. The dispensation of this justice belongs 

308 ll/or^s of U/a8f?ir)$tor) Irvio^ 

to the civil magistrates; and let it ever be our pride and our 
glory to leave the sacred deposit there inviolate." 

Washington pushed on for Philadelphia through deep 
roads and a three days' rain, and arrived there about the 
last of October. Governor Lee marched with the troops in 
two divisions, amounting to fifteen thousand men, into the 
western counties of Pennsylvania. This great military array 
extinguished at once the kindling elements of a civil war, 
by making resistance desperate. At the approach of so over- 
whelming a force the insurgents laid down their arms, and 
gave assurance of submission, and craved the clemency of 
government. It was extended to them. A few were tried 
for treason, but were not convicted; but as some spirit of 
discontent was still manifest, Major-general Morgan was 
stationed with a detachment for the winter, in the disaffected 

The paternal care with which "Washington watched, at 
all times, over the welfare of the country, was manifested 
in a letter to General Hamilton, who had remained with the 
army. " Press the governors to be pointed in ordering the 
officers under their respective commands to march back with 
their respective corps; and to see that the inhabitants meet 
with no disgraceful insults or injuries from them." 

It must have been a proud satisfaction to Washington 
to have put down, without an effusion of blood, an insur- 
rection which, at one time, threatened such serious con- 
sequences. In a letter to Mr. Jay, who had recently gone 
minister to England, he writes: "The insurrection in the 
western counties of this State will be represented differently, 
according to the wishes of some and the prejudices of others, 
who may exhibit it as an evidence of what has been pre- 
dicted, 'that we are unable to govern ourselves.' Under 

Cife of U/asl?ir><$tOQ 309 

this view of the subject, I am happy in giving it to you as 
the general opinion, that this event, having happened at the 
time it did, was fortunate, although it will be attended with 
considerable expense." 

After expressing his opinion that the " self -created so- 
cieties" who were laboring to effect some revolution in the 
government were the f omenters of these western disturbances, 
he adds: "It has afforded an occasion for the people of this 
country to show their abhorrence of the result and their 
attachment to the constitution and the laws; for I believe 
that five times the number of militia that was required would 
have come forward, if it had been necessary, in support of 

"The spirit which blazed out on this occasion, as soon 
as the object was fully understood and the lenient measures 
of the government were made known to the people, deserves 
to be communicated. There are instances of general officers 
going at the head of a single troop, and of light companies ; 
of field officers, when they came to the place of rendezvous, 
and found no command for them in that grade, turning into 
the ranks and proceeding as private soldiers, under their 
own captains; and of numbers, possessing the first fortunes 
in the country, standing in the ranks as private men, and 
marching day by day, with their knapsacks and haversacks 
at their backs, sleeping on straw with a single blanket in a 
soldier's tent, during the frosty nights which we have had, 
by way of example to others. Nay, more, many young 
Quakers, of the first families, character, and property, not 
discouraged by the elders, have turned into the ranks and 
marched with the troops. 

"These things have terrified the insurgents, who had no 
conception that such a spirit prevailed ; but while the thunder 

310 U/orKs of U/a8l?ir)<$tor) Iruirpq 

only rumbled at a distance, were boasting of their strength 
and wishing for and threatening the militia by turns; inti- 
mating that the arms they should take from them would 
soon become a magazine in their hands." 


Washington's Denunciation of Self -created Societies — Not relished 
by Congress — Campaign of General Wayne — Hamilton reports 
a Plan for the Redemption of the Public Debt — And retires 
from his Post as Secretary of the Treasury — Is succeeded by 
Oliver Wolcott — Resignation of Knox — Succeeded by Timothy 
Pickering — Close of the Session 

In his speech on the opening of Congress (November 
19th), Washington, in adverting to the insurrection in West- 
ern Pennsylvania, did not hesitate to denounce " certain self- 
created societies" as "fomenters of it." After detailing its 
commencement and progress, he observes: " While there 
is cause to lament that occurrences of this nature should 
have disgraced the name or interrupted the tranquillity 
of any part of our community, or should have diverted to 
a new application any portion of the public resources, there 
are not wanting real and substantial consolations for the 
misfortune. It has demonstrated that our prosperity rests 
on solid foundations; by furnishing an additional proof that 
my fellow-citizens understand the true principles of govern- 
ment and liberty; that they feel their inseparable union; 
that, notwithstanding all the devices which have been used 
to sway them from their interest and duty, they are now as 
ready to maintain the authority of the laws against licentious 
invasions, as they were to defend their rights against usurpa- 
tion. It has been a spectacle, displaying to the highest ad~ 

Cife of U/asl?i9<$toi) 311 

vantage the value of republican government, to behold the 
most and least wealthy of our citizens standing in the same 
ranks as private soldiers; pre-eminently distinguished by 
being the army of the constitution ; undeterred by a march 
of three hundred miles over rugged mountains, by the ap- 
proach of an inclement season, or by any other discourage- 
ment. Nor ought I to omit to acknowledge the efficacious 
and patriotic co-operation which I have experienced from 
the chief magistrates of the States to which my requisitions 
have been addressed. 

1 'To every description, indeed, of citizens, let praise be 
given ; but let them persevere in their affectionate vigilance 
over that precious depository of American happiness, the 
Constitution of the United States. Let them cherish it, too, 
for the sake of those who, from every clime, are daily seek- 
ing a dwelling in our land. And when, in the calm mo- 
ments of reflection, they shall have retraced the origin and 
progress of the insurrection, let them determine whether 
it has not been fomented by combinations of men, who, 
careless of consequences, and disregarding the unerring 
truth, that those who arouse cannot always appease a civil 
convulsion, have disseminated from ignorance or perversion 
of facts, suspicions, jealousies, and accusations of the whole 

This denunciation of the " self- created societies" was a 
bold step, by which he was sure to incur their resentment. 
It was not relished by some members of the Senate, but the 
majority gave it their approval. In the House, where the 
opposition party was most powerful, this passage of the Presi- 
dent's speech gave rise to much altercation, and finally, the 
majority showed their disapprobation by passing it over in 
silence in the address voted in reply. 

312 U/orks of U/asf?in$toi) Irvir)<$ 

The "self -created societies, " however, which had sprung 
up in various parts of the Union, had received their death- 
blow ; they soon became odious in the public eye, and grad- 
ually disappeared ; following the fate of the Jacobin clubs 
in France. 

It was with great satisfaction that Washington had been 
able to announce favorable intelligence of the campaign of 
General Wayne against the hostile Indians west of the Ohio. 
That brave commander had conducted it with a judgment 
and prudence little compatible with the hare-brained appella- 
tion he had acquired by his rash exploits during the Revolu- 
tion. Leaving his winter encampment on the Ohio in the 
spring (of 1794), he had advanced cautiously into the wild 
country west of it; skirmishing with bands of lurking sav- 
ages, as he advanced, and establishing posts to keep up com- 
munication and secure the transmission of supplies. It was 
not until the 8th of August that he arrived at the junction 
of the rivers Au Glaize and Miami, in a fertile and populous 
region, where the "Western Indians had their most important 
villages. Here he threw up some works, which he named 
Fort Defiance. Being strengthened by eleven hundred 
mounted volunteers from Kentucky, his force exceeded that 
of the savage warriors who had collected to oppose him, 
which scarcely amounted to two thousand men. These, 
however, were strongly encamped in the vicinity of Fort 
Miami, a British post, about thirty miles distant, and far 
within the limits of the United States, and seemed prepared 
to give battle, expecting, possibly, to be aided by the British 
garrison. "Wayne's men were eager for a fight, but he, 
remembering the instructions of government, restrained his 
fighting propensities. In a letter to his old comrade Knox, 
Secretary of "War, he writes: "Though now prepared to 

Cife of U/a8l?ir)$tor> 313 

strike, I have thought proper to make the enemy a last 
overture of peace, nor am I without hopes that they will 
listen to it." 

His overture was ineffectual; or rather the reply he 
received was such as to leave him in doubt of the intentions 
of the enemy. He advanced, therefore, with the precautions 
he had hitherto observed, hoping to be met in the course 
of his march by deputies on peaceful missions. 

On the 20th, being arrived near to the enemy* s position, 
his advanced guard was fired upon by an ambush' of the 
enemy concealed in a thicket, and was compelled to retreat. 
The general now ordered an attack of horse and foot upon 
the enemy's position; the Indians were roused from their 
lair with the point of the bayonet; driven, fighting, for more 
than two miles, through thick woods, and pursued with 
great slaughter, until within gunshot of the British fort. 
"We remained," writes the general, "three days and nights 
on the banks of the Miami, in front of the field of battle, 
during which time all the houses and corn were consumed, 
or otherwise destroyed, for a considerable distance both 
above and below Fort Miami ; and we were within pistol- 
shot of the garrison of that place, who were compelled to 
remain quiet spectators of this general devastation and con- 
flagration. " 

It was trusted that this decish^ battle, and the wide 
ravages of villages and fields of corn with which it was suc- 
ceeded, would bring the Indians to their senses, and compel 
them to solicit the peace which they had so repeatedly 

In his official address to Congress, Washington had urged 
the adoption of some definite plan for the redemption of the 
public debt. A plan was reported by Mr. Hamilton, 20th 

Vol. XV.— * * * 14 

314 U/or^s of U/asfyio^too Iruir><$ 

January, 1795, which he had digested and prepared on the 
basis of the actual revenues, for the further support of public 
credit. The report embraced a comprehensive view of the 
system which he had pursued, and made some recommen- 
dations, which after much debate were adopted. 

So closed Mr. Hamilton's labors as Secretary of the 
Treasury. He had long meditated a retirement from his 
post, the pay of which was inadequate to the support of 
his family, but had postponed it, first, on account of the 
accusations brought against him in the second Congress, 
and of which he awaited the investigation; secondly, in 
consequence of events which rendered the prospect of a con- 
tinuance of peace precarious. But these reasons no longer 
operating, he gave notice, on his return from the Western 
country, that on the last day of the ensuing month of January 
he should give in his resignation. He did so, and received 
the following note from Washington on the subject: " After 
so long an experience of your public services, I am naturally 
led, at this moment of your departure from office (which it 
has always been my wish to prevent), to review them. In 
every relation which you have borne to me, I have found 
that my confidence in your talents, exertions and integrity 
has been well placed. I the more freely render this testi- 
mony of my approbation, because I speak from opportunities 
of information which cannot deceive me, and which furnish 
satisfactory proof of your title to public regard. 

"My most earnest wishes for your happiness will attend 
you in your retirement, and you may assure yourself of the 
sincere esteem, regard and friendship of, dear sir, your 
affectionate,' ' etc.* 

* Writings, xi. 10. 

Cife of U/asl?ii7$toi} 315 

Hamilton's reply manifests his sense of the kindness of 
this letter. "As often as I may recall the vexations I have 
endured," writes he, "your approbation will be a great and 
precious consolation. It was not without a struggle that 
I yielded to the very urgent motives which impelled me to 
relinquish a station in which I could hope to be in any degree 
instrumental in promoting the success of an administration 
under your direction. . . . Whatever may be my destina- 
tion hereafter, I entreat you to be persuaded (not the less 
from my having been sparing in professions) that I shall never 
cease to render a just tribute to those eminent and excellent 
qualities which have been already productive of so many 
blessings to your country ; that you will always have my 
fervent wishes for your public and personal felicity, and that 
it will be my pride to cultivate a continuance of that esteem, 
regard and friendship of which you do me the honor to assure 
me. "With true respect and affectionate attachment, I have 
the honor to be," etc.* 

Hamilton was succeeded in office by Oliver Wolcott, of 
Connecticut, a man of judgment and ability, who had served 
as Comptroller, and was familiar with the duties of the office. 

Knox likewise had given in his resignation at the close 
of the month of December. "After having served my coun- 
try nearly twenty years," writes he to "Washington, "the 
greatest portion of which under your immediate auspices, 
it is with extreme reluctance that I find myself constrained 
to withdraw from so honorable a station. But the natural 
and powerful claims of a numerous family will no longer 
permit me to neglect their essential interests. In whatever 
situation I shall be, I shall recollect your confidence and 

* Writings, xi. 16. 

316 U/or^s of U/as^iQ^t:or> lruio<$ 

kindness with all the fervor and purity of affection of which 
a grateful heart is susceptible.' ' 

"I cannot suffer you," replies Washington, "to close 
your public service, without uniting with the satisfaction 
which must arise in your own mind from a conscious recti- 
tude, my most perfect persuasion that you have deserved 
well of your country. 

"My personal knowledge of your exertions, while it 
authorizes me to hold this language, justifies the sincere 
friendship which I have ever borne for you, and which will 
accompany you in every situation of life ; being with affec- 
tionate regard, always yours,' ' etc. 

There was always a kindly warmth in Washington's 
expressions toward the buoyant General Knox. Knox was 
succeeded in the War Department by Colonel Timothy Pick- 
ering, at that time Postmaster-general. 

The session of Congress closed on the 3d of March, 1795. 


Washington's Anxiety about the Progress of the Negotiation with 
England — Jay's Treaty arrives for Ratification — Predisposition 
to condemn— Return of Jay — Adet succeeds Fauchet as Minis- 
ter from France — The Treaty laid before the Senate— Ratified 
with a Qualification — A Novel Question — Popular Discontent — 
Abstract of the Treaty published — Violent Opposition to it — 
Washington resolved to Ratify — His Resolution suspended — 
Goes to Mount Vernon — Reply to an Address from Boston 
— Increasing Clamor 

Washington had watched the progress of the mission 
of Mr. Jay to England with an anxious eye. He was aware 
that he had exposed his popularity to imminent hazard, by 

Cife of U/asl?ii)$t:oi) 317 

making an advance toward a negotiation with that power ; 
but what was of still greater moment with him, he was 
aware that the peace and happiness of his country were at 
stake on the result of that mission. It was, moreover, a 
mission of great delicacy, from the many intricate and diffi- 
cult points to be discussed, and the various and mutual 
grounds of complaint to be adjusted. 

Mr. Jay, in a letter dated August 5, 1794, had informed 
him confidentially that the ministry were prepared to settle 
the matters in dispute upon just and liberal terms; still, 
what those terms, which they conceived to be just and 
liberal, might prove, when they came to be closely dis- 
cussed, no one could prognosticate. 

Washington hardly permitted himself to hope for the 
complete success of the mission. To "give and take," he 
presumed would be the result. In the meantime there were 
so many hot heads and impetuous spirits at home to be man- 
aged and restrained, that he was anxious the negotiation 
might assume a decisive form and be brought to a speedy 
close. He was perplexed too, by what, under existing cir- 
cumstances, appeared piratical conduct, on the part of Ber- 
mudan privateers persisting in capturing American vessels. 

At length, on the 7th of March, 1795, four days after 
the close of the session of Congress, a treaty arrived which 
had been negotiated by Mr. Jay, and signed by the minis- 
ters of the two nations on the 19th of November, and was 
sent out for ratification. 

In a letter to Washington, which accompanied the treaty, 
Mr. Jay wrote: "To do more was impossible. I ought not 
to conceal from you that the confidence reposed in your 
personal character was visible and useful throughout the 

318 U/or^s of U/asl?ii>$toi) Irvio^ 

"Washington immediately made the treaty a close study ; 
some of the provisions were perfectly satisfactory ; of others, 
he did not approve ; on the whole, he considered it a matter, 
to use his own expression, of "give and take," and believing 
the advantages to outweigh the objections, and that, as Mr. 
Jay alleged, it was the best treaty attainable, he made up 
his mind to ratify it, should it be approved by the Senate. 

As a system of predetermined hostility to the treaty, how- 
ever, was already manifested, and efforts were made to 
awaken popular jealousy concerning it, Washington kept 
its provisions secret, that the public mind might not be pre- 
occupied on the subject. In the course of a few days, how- 
ever, enough leaked out to be seized upon by the opposition 
press to excite public distrust, though not enough to convey 
a distinct idea of the merits of the instrument. In fact, the 
people were predisposed to condemn, because vexed that any 
overtures had been made toward a negotiation, such over- 
tures having been stigmatized as cowardly and degrading. 
If it had been necessary to send a minister to England, said 
they, it should have been to make a downright demand of 
reparation for wrongs inflicted on our commerce, and the 
immediate surrender of the Western posts. 

In the meantime Jay arrived, on the 28th of May, and 
found that during his absence in Europe he had been elected 
governor of the State of New York; an honorable election, 
the result of no effort nor intrigue, but of the public sense 
entertained by his native State of his pure and exalted 
merit. He, in consequence, resigned the office of Chief- 
justice of the United States. 

In the course of this month arrived Mr. Adet, who had 
been appointed by the French government to succeed Mr. 
Fauchet as minister to the United States. He brought with 

Cife of U/asl?i9<$toi) 319 

him the colors of France which the Convention had instructed 
him to present as a testimonial of friendship, in return for 
the American flag which had been presented by Mr. Monroe. 
The presentation of the colors was postponed by him for the 

The Senate was convened by Washington on the 8th of 
J une, and the treaty of Mr. Jay was laid before it, with its 
accompanying documents. The session was with closed 
doors, discussions were long and arduous, and the treaty 
underwent a scrutinizing examination. The twelfth article 
met with especial objections. 

This article provided for a direct trade between the United 
States and the British West India Islands, in American 
vessels not exceeding seventy tons burden, conveying the 
produce of the States or of the Islands; but it prohibited 
the exportation of molasses, sugar, coffee, cocoa, or cotton, 
in American vessels, either from the United States or the 
Islands, to any part of the world. Under this article it was 
a restricted intercourse, but Mr. Jay considered the admis- 
sion, even of small vessels, to the trade of these islands, an 
important advantage to the commerce of the United States. 
He had not sufficiently adverted to the fact that, among the 
prohibited articles, cotton was also a product of the Southern 
States. Its cultivation had been but recently introduced 
there; so that when he sailed for Europe hardly sufficient 
had been raised for domestic consumption, and at the time 
of signing the treaty very little, if any, had been exported. 
Still it was now becoming an important staple of the South, 
and hence the objection of the Senate to this article of the 
treaty. On the 24th of June, two-thirds of the Senate, 
the constitutional majority, voted for the ratification of the 
treaty ; stipulating, however, that an article be added sus- 

320 U/orKs of U/asl?iQ$tor) Iruio<$ 

pending so much of the twelfth article as respected the 
West India trade, and that the President be requested to 
open, without delay, further negotiation on this head. 

Here was a novel case to be determined. Could the 
Senate be considered to have ratified the treaty before the 
insertion of this new article? Was the act complete and 
final, so as to render it unnecessary to refer it back to that 
body? Could the President put his final seal upon an act 
before it was complete? After much reflection, Washington 
was satisfied of the propriety of ratifying the treaty with the 
qualification imposed by the Senate. 

In the meantime the popular discontent which had been 
excited concerning the treaty was daily increasing. The 
secrecy which had been maintained with regard to its pro- 
visions was wrested into a cause of offense. Republics should 
have no secrets. The Senate should not have deliberated 
on the treaty with closed doors. 

Such was the irritable condition of the public mind when, 
on the 29th of June, a Senator of the United States (Mr. 
Mason of Virginia) sent an abstract of the treaty to be pub- 
lished in a leading opposition paper in Philadelphia. 

The whole country was immediately in a blaze. Besides 
the opposition party, a portion of the Cabinet was against 
the ratification. Of course it received but a faltering sup- 
port, while the attack upon it was vehement and sustained. 
The assailants seemed determined to carry their point by 
storm. Meetings to oppose the ratification were held in 
Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Charleston. 
The smaller towns throughout the Union followed their 
example. In New York, a copy of the treaty was burned 
before the governor's house. In Philadelphia, it was sus- 
pended on a pole, carried about the streets, and finally burned 

Cife of U/asr;iD$tor> 321 

in front of the British minister's house, amid the shoutings 
of the populace. The whole country seemed determined, 
by prompt and clamorous manifestations of dissatisfaction, 
to make Washington give way. 

He saw their purpose; he was aware of the odious points 
of view on which the treaty might justly be placed; his own 
opinion was not particularly favorable to it; but he was 
convinced that it was better to ratify it, in the manner the 
Senate had advised, and with the reservation already men- 
tioned, than to suffer matters to remain in their present un- 
settled and precarious state. 

Before he could act upon this conviction a new difficulty 
arose to suspend his resolution. News came that the order 
of the British government of the 8th of June, 1793, for the 
seizure of provisions in vessels going to French ports, was 
renewed. "Washington instantly directed that a strong 
memorial should be drawn up against this order; as it 
seemed to favor a construction of the treaty which he was 
determined to resist. While this memorial was in course 
of preparation he was called off to Mount Vernon. On his 
way thither, though little was said to him on the subject 
of the treaty, he found, he says, from indirect discourses, 
that endeavors were making to place it in all the odious 
points of view of which it was susceptible, and in some 
which it would not admit. 

The proceedings and resolves of town meetings, also, 
savoring as he thought of party prejudice, were forwarded 
to him by express, and added to his disquiet. " Party dis- 
putes are now carried to such a length," writes he, "and 
truth is so enveloped in mist and false representation, that 
it is extremely difficult to know through what channel to 
seek it. This difficulty, to one who is of no party, and 

322 U/orl^s of U/asr;ii}$ton Iruip^ 

whose sole wish is to pursue with undeviating steps a path 
which would lead this country to respectability, wealth, and 
happiness, is exceedingly to be lamented. But such, for 
wise purposes it is presumed, is the turbulence of human 
passions in party disputes, when victory more than truth is 
the palm contended for, that c the post of honor is a private 
station.' " * 

The opposition made to the treaty from meetings in 
different parts of the Union gave him the most serious 
uneasiness, from the effect it might have on the relations 
with France and England. His reply (July 28th) to an 
address from the selectmen of Boston, contains the spirit 
of his replies to other addresses of the kind, and shows the 
principles which influenced him in regard to the treaty: 

"In every act of my administration,' ' said he, "I have 
sought the happiness of my fellow-citizens. My system for 
the attainment of this object has uniformly been to overlook 
all personal, local and partial considerations; to contemplate 
the United States as one great whole ; to confide that sudden 
impressions, when erroneous, would yield to candid reflec- 
tion; and to consult only the substantial and permanent 
interests of our country. Nor have I departed from this 
line of conduct, on the occasion which has produced the 
resolutions contained in your letter. 

"Without a predilection for my own judgment I have 
weighed with attention every argument which has at any 
time been brought into view. But the constitution is the 
guide which I never can abandon. It has assigned to the 
President the power of making treaties with the advice and 
consent of the Senate. It was, doubtless, supposed that 

* Writings, xi. 40. 

Cife of U/a8l?ii)<$tor? 323 

these two branches of government would combine, without 
passion, and with the best means of information, those facts 
and principles upon which the success of our foreign rela- 
tions will always depend ; that they ought not to substitute 
for their own conviction the opinions of others, or to seek 
truth through any channel but that of a temperate and well- 
informed investigation. 

"Under this persuasion, I have resolved on the manner 
of executing the duty before me. To the high responsibility 
of it, I freely submit, and you, gentlemen, are at liberty to 
make these sentiments known as the grounds of my proced- 
ure. While I feel the most lively gratitude for the many in- 
stances of approbation from my country, I cannot otherwise 
deserve it than by obeying the dictates of my conscience." * 

The violence of the opposition increased. Washington 
perceived that the prejudices against the treaty were more 
extensive than was generally imagined. "How should it be 
otherwise," said he, "when no stone has been left unturned 
that could impress on the minds of the people the most ar- 
rant misrepresentation of facts; that their rights have not 
only been neglected, but absolutely sold; that there are no 
reciprocal advantages in the treaty ; that the benefits are all 
on the side of Great Britain ; and what seems to have had 
more weight with them than all the rest, and to have been 
most pressed, that the treaty is made with the design to op- 
press the French, in open violation of our treaty with that 
nation; and contrary, too, to every principle of gratitude 
and sound policy." 

Never, during his administration, had he seen a crisis, in 
his judgment, so pregnant with interesting events, nor one 

* Writings. Sparks, xi. 42. 

824 U/orKs of U/asfyio^too Iruir}$ 

from which, whether viewed on one side or the other, more 
was to be apprehended. 

If the treaty were ratified, the partisans of the French, 
Ji or rather," said he, "of war and confusion," would excite 
them to hostility ; if not ratified, there was no foreseeing the 
consequences as it respected Great Britain. It was a crisis, 
he said, that most eminently called upon the administration 
to be wise and temperate, as well as firm. The public clamor 
continued, and induced a reiterated examination of the sub- 
ject; but did not shake his purpose. "There is but one 
straight course" said he, "and that is to seek truth and 
pursue it steadily. H * 


Washington recalled to the Seat of Government — Conduct of Ran- 
dolph brought in Question — Treaty signed — Resignation of Ran- 
dolph — His Correspondence with Washington— Unlimited Dis- 
closure permitted — Appearance of his Vindication — Pickering 
transferred to the Department of State — McHenry appointed 
Secretary of War — Arrival of George Washington Lafayette 

The difficult and intricate questions pressing upon the 
attention of government left Washington little mood to en- 
joy the retirement of Mount Vernon, being constantly in 
doubt whether his presence in Philadelphia were not neces- 
sary. In his letters to Randolph, he requested to be kept 
continually advised on this head. "While I am in office I 
shall never suffer private convenience to interfere with what 
I conceive to be my official duty." — "I do not require more 
than a day's notice to repair to the seat of government. ' ' 

* See Letters to Edmund Randolph. Writings, xi., pp. 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$tog 325 

His promptness was soon put to the test. Early in Au- 
gust came a mysterious letter, dated July 31, from Mr. Pick 
ering, the Secretary of "War. 

"On the subject of the treaty," writes Pickering, "I con- 
fess I feel extreme solicitude, and for a special reason^ which 
can be communicated to you only in person. I entreat, there- 
fore, that you will return with all convenient speed to the 
seat of government. In the meanwhile, for the reason above 
referred to, I pray you to decide on no important political 
measure, in whatever form it may be presented to you. Mr. 
Wolcott and I (Mr. Bradford concurring) waited on Mr. 
Randolph, and urged his writing to request your return. 
He wrote in our presence, but we concluded a letter from 
one of us also expedient. With the utmost sincerity I sub- 
scribe myself yours and my country's friend. This letter is 
for your own eye alone." 

The receipt of this enigmatical letter induced Washing- 
ton to cut short his sojourn at Mount Vernon, and hasten to 
Philadelphia. He arrived there on the 11th of August; and 
on the same day received a solution of the mystery. A dis- 
patch written by Fauchet, the French minister, to his gov- 
ernment, in the preceding month of November, was placed 
in "Washington's hands, with a translation of it made by Mr. 
Pickering. The dispatch had been found en board of a 
French privateer, captured by a British frigate, and had 
been transmitted to the ministry. Lord Grenville, finding 
it contained passages relating to the intercourse of Mr. Ran- 
dolph, the American Secretary of State, with Mr. Fauchet, 
had sent it to Mr. Hammond, the British minister in Phila- 
delphia. He had put it into the hands of Mr. Wolcott, the 
Secretary of the Treasury, who had shown it to the Secretary 
of War and the Attorney-general ; and the contents had been 

3%6 U/or^s of U/a8l?ii?$toi? Irvip$ 

considered so extraordinary as to call forth the mysterious 
letter entreating the prompt return of Washington. 

The following passages in Fauchet's intercepted dispatch 
related to the Western insurrection and the proclamation of 
Washington : 

"Two or three days before the proclamation was pub- 
lished, and of course before the cabinet had resolved on its 
measures, the Secretary of State came to my house. All his 
countenance was grief. He requested of me a private con- 
versation. It was all over, he said to me ; a civil war is 
about to ravage our unhappy country. Four men, by their 
talents, their influence, and their energy, may save it. But, 
debtors of English merchants, they will be deprived of their 
liberty if they take the smallest step. Could you lend them 
instantaneously funds to shelter them from English prosecu- 
tion? This inquiry astonished me much. It was impossible 
for me to make a satisfactory answer. You know my want 
of power and deficiency in pecuniary means. . . . Thus, 
with some thousands of dollars, the Republic could have de- 
cided on civil war or peace. Thus the consciences of the 
pretended patriots of America have already their price." 
— "What will be the old age of this government, if it is thus 
already decrepit?" 

The perusal of the letter gave Washington deep perplex- 
ity and concern. He revolved the matter in his mind in si- 
lence. The predominant object of his thoughts recently had 
been to put a stop to the public agitation on the subject of 
the treaty ; and he postponed any new question of difficulty 
until decided measures had laid the other at rest. On the 
next day, therefore (12th), he brought before the cabinet the 
question of immediate ratification. All the members were 
in favor of it excepting Mr. Randolph; he had favored it 

Cife of U/asl?ii)$toi} 327 

before the news of the British provision order, but now pro- 
nounced it unadvisable, until that order were revoked, and 
there should be an end of the war between France and Eng- 
land. This led to further discussion, and it was finally- 
agreed to ratify the treaty immediately; but to accompany 
the ratification with a strong memorial against the provision 
order. The ratification was signed by Washington on the 
18th of August. 

His conduct toward Randolph, in the interim, had been 
as usual, but now that the dispatch of public business no 
longer demanded the entire attention of the cabinet, he pro- 
ceeded to clear up the doubts occasioned by the intercepted 
dispatch. Accordingly, on the following day, as Randolph 
entered the cabinet, "Washington, who was conversing with 
Pickering and "Wolcott, rose and handed to him the letter of 
Fauchet, asking an explanation of the questionable parts. 

Randolph appears to have been less agitated by the pro- 
duction of the letter than hurt that the inquiry concerning it 
had not first been made of him in private. He postponed 
making any specific reply, until he should have time to ex- 
amine the letter at his leisure ; and observed on retiring that, 
after the treatment he had experienced, he could not think 
of remaining in office a moment longer. 

In a letter to the President the same day he writes: 
"Your confidence in me, sir, has been unlimited, and I can 
truly affirm unabused. My sensations, then, cannot be con- 
cealed, when I find that confidence so suddenly withdrawn, 
without a word or distant hint being previously dropped to 
me. This, sir, as I mentioned in your room, is a situation 
in which I cannot hold my present office, and therefore I 
hereby resign it. 

"It will not, however, be concluded from hence that I 

328 U/or^s of U7a8l?ii)$toi} Irving 

mean to relinquish the inquiry. No, sir, very far from it. 
I will also meet any inquiry ; and to prepare for it, if I learn 
there is a chance of overtaking Mr. Fauchet before he sails, 
I will go to him immediately. 

"I have to beg the favor of you to permit me to be 
furnished with a copy of the letter, and I will prepare an 
answer to it; which I perceive that I cannot do as I wish, 
merely upon the few hasty memoranda which I took with 
my pencil. 

"I am satisfied, sir, that you will acknowledge one piece 
of justice to be due on the occasion; which is, that until an 
inquiry can be made the affair shall continue in secrecy un- 
der your injunction. For, after pledging myself for a more 
specific investigation of all the suggestions, I here most sol- 
emnly deny that any overture came from me which was to 
produce money to me or any others for me ; and that in any 
manner, directly or indirectly, was a shilling every received 
by me; nor was it ever contemplated by me that one shilling 
should be applied by Mr. Fauchet to any purpose relative to 
the insurrection." 

Washington, in a reply on the following day, in which he 
accepted his resignation, observes: "While you are in pur- 
suit of means to remove the strong suspicions arising from 
this letter, no disclosure of its contents will be made by me ; 
and I will enjoin the same on the public officers who are ac- 
quainted with the purport of it, unless something will appear 
to render an explanation necessary on the part of the govern- 
ment, and of which I will be the judge." 

And on a subsequent occasion he writes : "No man would 
rejoice more than I to find that the suspicions which have 
resulted from the intercepted letter were unequivocally and 
honorably removed." 

Cife of U/asl?iQ<$too 329 

Mr. Fauchet, in the meantime, having learned, previous 
to embarkation, that his dispatch had been intercepted, wrote 
a declaration, denying that Mr. Randolph had ever indicated 
a willingness to receive money for personal objects, and 
affirming that he had no intention to say anything in his 
letter to his government to the disadvantage of Mr. Ran- 
dolph's character.* 

Mr. Randolph now set to work to prepare a pamphlet in 
explanation of his conduct, intimating to his friends that, in 
the course of his vindication, he would bring things to view 
which would afflict Washington more than anything which 
had yet appeared, f 

While thus occupied he addressed several notes to Wash- 
ington, requiring information on various points, and received 
concise answers to all his queries. 

On one occasion, where he had required a particular 
paper, he published in the "Gazette" an extract from his 
note to Washington ; as if fearing the request might be de- 
nied, lest the paper in question should lay open many confi- 
dential and delicate matters. 

In reply, Washington writes: "That you may have no 
cause to complain of the withholding of any paper, however 
private and confidential, which you shall think necessary in 
a case of so serious a nature, I have directed that you should 
have the inspection of my letter of the 22d of July, agree- 
ably to your request, and you are at full liberty to publish, 
without reserve, any and every private and confidential let- 
ter I ever wrote to you ; nay, more, every word I ever ut- 
tered to you or in your hearing, from whence you can derive 

* Sparks' Writings of Washington, xi. 90. 
f Idem., xi. 89. 

330 U/orKs of U/astyio^too ]rvio$ 

any advantage in your vindication. I grant this permission, 
inasmuch as the extract alluded to manifestly tends to im- 
press on the public an opinion that something was passed 
between us, which you should disclose with reluctance, from 
motives of delicacy with respect to me. . . . That public 
will judge, when it comes to see your vindication, how far 
and how proper it has been for you to publish private and 
confidential communications which oftentimes have been 
written in a hurry, and sometimes without even copies be- 
ing taken ; and it will, I hope, appreciate my motives, even 
if it should condemn my prudence, in allowing you the un- 
limited license herein contained.' ' 

The merit of this unlimited license will be properly un- 
derstood when it is known that at this time Washington was 
becoming more and more the object of the malignant attacks 
of the press. The ratification of the treaty had opened the 
vials of party wrath against him. "His military and polit- 
ical character," we are told, "was attacked with equal vio- 
lence, and it was averred that he was totally destitute of 
merit, either as a soldier or a statesman. He was charged 
with having violated the constitution, in negotiating a treaty 
without the previous advice of the Senate, and that he had 
embraced within that treaty subjects belonging exclusively 
to the legislature, for which an impeachment was publicly 
suggested. Nay more, it was asserted that he had drawn 
from the treasury, for his private use, more than the salary 
annexed to his office." * 

This last charge, so incompatible with the whole char- 
acter and conduct of Washington, was fully refuted by the 
late Secretary of the Treasury, who explained that the Presi- 

* See Marshall's Washington, vol. ii., p. 370. 

Cife of U/asl?i^top 331 

dent never himself touched any part of the compensation at- 
tached to his office, but that the whole was received and dis- 
bursed by the gentleman who superintended the expenses of 
his household. That the expenses at some times exceeded, 
and at other times fell short of the quarter's allowance; but 
that the aggregate fell within the allowance for the year. 

At this time the General Assembly of Maryland made a 
unanimous resolution to the following effect: that " observ- 
ing with deep concern a series of efforts, by indirect insinua • 
tion or open invective, to detach from the first magistrate of 
the Union the well-earned confidence of his fellow-citizens ; 
they think it their duty to declare, and they do hereby de- 
clare, their unabated reliance on the integrity, judgment 
and patriotism of the President of the United States." 

In a reply to the Governor of Maryland, Washington ob- 
served: "At anytime the expression of such a sentiment 
would have been considered as highly honorable and flatter- 
ing. At the present, when the voice of malignancy is so 
high-toned, and no attempts are left unessayed to destroy all 
confidence in the constituted authorities of this country, it is 
peculiarly grateful to my sensibility. . . . 

"I have long since resolved, for the present time at least, 
to let my calumniators proceed without any notice being 
taken of their invectives by myself, or by any others, with 
my participation or knowledge. Their views, I daresay, are 
readily perceived by all the enlightened and well-disposed 
part of the community ; and by the records of my adminis- 
tration, and not by the voice of faction, I expect to be 
acquitted or condemned hereafter.' ' 

The vindication which Mr. Randolph had been preparing 
appeared in December. In this he gave a narrative of the 
principal events relating to the case, his correspondence with 

332 U/orKs of WastytyQtor) Irvii}$ 

the President, and the whole of the French minister's letter. 
He endeavored to explain those parts of the letter which had 
brought the purity of his conduct in question; but, as has 
been observed, ''he had a difficult task to perform, as he was 
obliged to prove a negative, and to explain vague expressions 
and insinuations connected with his name in Fauchet's let- 
ter." * 

Fauchet himself furnished the best vindication in his cer- 
tificate above mentioned ; but it is difficult to reconcile his 
certificate with the language of his official letter to his gov- 
ernment. "We are rather inclined to attribute to miscon- 
ceptions and hasty inferences of the French minister the 
construction put by him, in his letter, on the conversation 
he had held with Mr. Randolph. 

The latter injured his cause by the imbittered feelings 
manifested in his vindication, and the asperity with which 
he spoke of "Washington there and elsewhere. He deeply 
regretted it in after life, and in a letter to the Hon. Bushrod 
Washington, written in 1810, he says: "I do not retain the 
smallest degree of that feeling which roused me fifteen years 
ago against some individuals. ... If I could now present 
myself before your venerated uncle, it would be my pride to 
confess my contrition that I suffered my irritation, let the 
cause be what it might, to use some of those expressions re- 
specting him which, at this moment of indifference to the 
ideas of the world, I wish to recall, as being inconsistent 
with my subsequent conviction. My life will, I hope, be 
sufficiently extended for the recording of my sincere opinion 
of his virtues and merit, in a style which is not the result 
of a mind merely debilitated by misfortune, but of that 

* Note of Mr. Sparks. Washington's Writings, xi. 90. 

Cife of U/asl?ii)<$tor) 333 

Christian philosophy on which alone I depend for inward 
tranquillity." * 

After a considerable interval from the resignation of Ran- 
dolph, Colonel Pickering was transferred to the Department 
of State, and Mr. James McHenry was appointed Secretary 
of "War. The office of Attorney-general becoming vacant 
by the death of Mr. Bradford, was offered to Mr. Charles 
Lee, of Virginia, and accepted by him on the last day of 

During the late agitations, George Washington Lafayette, 
the son of the general, had arrived at Boston under the name 
of Motier, accompanied by his tutor, M. Frestel, and had 
written to Washington apprising him of his arrival. It was 
an embarrassing moment to Washington. The letter excited 
his deepest sensibility, bringing with it recollections of La- 
fayette's merits, services and sufferings, and of their past 
friendship, and he resolved to become "father, friend, pro- 
tector and supporter" to his son. But he must proceed with 
caution ; on account of his own official character as Execu- 
tive of the United States, and of the position of Lafayette in 
regard to the French government. Caution, also, was nec- 
essary, not to endanger the situation of the young man him- 
self, and of his mother and friends whom he had left behind. 
Philadelphia would not be an advisable residence for him at 
present, until it was seen what opinions would be excited by 
his arrival ; as Washington would for some time be absent 
from the seat of government, while all the foreign function- 
aries were residing there, particularly those of his own na- 
tion. Washington suggested, therefore, that he should enter 

* Marshall's Life of Washington, 2d edition, vol. ii., 
note xx. 

334 ll/or^s of U/asI?ir)^tor) Irv/ip^ 

for the present as a student at the University in Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, and engaged to pay all the expenses for the 
residence there of himself and his tutor. These and other 
suggestions were made in a private and confidential letter to 
Mr. George Cabot, of Boston, Senator of the United States, 
whose kind services he enlisted in the matter. 

It was subsequently thought best that young Lafayette 
should proceed to New York, and remain in retirement, at 
the country house of a friend in its vicinity, pursuing his 
studies with his tutor, until Washington should direct 


Meeting of Congress — Washington's Official Summary of the 
Events of the Year — Cordial Response of the Senate — Partial 
Demur of the House — Washington's Position and Feelings 
with regard to England, as shown by himself — Mr. Adet pre- 
sents the Colors of France — The Treaty returned — Proceedings 
thereupon — Thomas Pinckney resigns as Minister at London — 
Rufus King appointed in his place — Washington's View of the 
Political Campaign — Jefferson's Fears of an Attempt to sow 
Dissension between him and Washington — Mr. Monroe recalled, 
and C. C. Pinckney appointed in his Stead — Resentful Policy of 

In his speech at the opening of the session of Congress in 
December, Washington presented a cheerful summary of the 
events of the year. "I trust I do not deceive myself," said 
he, " while I indulge the persuasion that I have never met 
you at any period when, more than at present, the situation 
of our public affairs has afforded just cause for mutual con- 
gratulation, and for inviting you to join with me in profound 
gratitude to the Author of all good, for the numerous and 
extraordinary blessiDgs we enjoy." 

Cife of U/astyii^tOQ 335 

And first he announced that a treaty had been concluded 
provisionally, by General Wayne, with the Indians north- 
west of the Ohio, by which the termination of the long, ex- 
pensive and distressing war with those tribes was placed at 
the option of the United States. "In the adjustment of the 
terms," said he, "the satisfaction of the Indians was deemed 
an object worthy no less of the policy than of the liberality 
of the United States, as the necessary basis of durable tran- 
quillity. This object, it is believed, has been fully attained. 
The articles agreed upon will immediately be laid before the 
Senate, for their consideration.' ' * 

A letter from the Emperor of Morocco, recognizing a 
treaty which had been made with his deceased father, in- 
sured the continuance of peace with that power. 

The terms of a treaty with the Dey and regency of Al- 
giers had been adjusted in a manner to authorize the ex- 
pectation of a speedy peace in that quarter, and the liberation 
of a number of American citizens from a long and grievous 

A speedy and satisfactory conclusion was anticipated of 
a negotiation with the court of Madrid, "which would lay 
the foundation of lasting harmony with a power whose 
friendship," said Washington, "we have uniformly and 
sincerely desired to cherish." 

Adverting to the treaty with Great Britain and its con- 
ditional ratification, the result on the part of his Britannic 
Majesty was yet unknown, but when ascertained would im- 
mediately be placed before Congress. 

* These preliminary articles were confirmed by a defini- 
tive treaty concluded on the 7th of August. Wayne received 
high testimonials of approbation both from Congress and the 
President, and made a kind of triumphal entry into Phila- 
delphia amid the enthusiastic acclamations of the people. 

336 U/or^s of U/a8bir)$toi? Iruii)<$ 

"In regard to internal affairs, every part of the Union 
gave indications of rapid and various improvement. With 
burdens so light as scarcely to be perceived ; with resources 
fully adequate to present exigencies; with governments 
founded on the genuine principles of rational liberty; and 
with mild and wholesome laws, was it too much to sav that 
our country exhibited a spectacle of national happiness never 
surpassed, if ever before equaled?" 

In regard to the late insurrection : "The misled," observed 
he, "have abandoned their errors, and pay the respect to 
our constitution and laws which is due from good citizens 
to the public authorities. These circumstances have induced 
me to pardon generally the offenders here referred to, and 
to extend forgiveness to those who had been adjudged to 
capital punishment." 

After recommending several objects to the attention of 
both Houses, he concludes by advising temperate discussion 
and mutual forbearance wherever there was a difference of 
opinion; advice sage and salutary on all occasions, but par- 
ticularly called for by the excited temper of the times. 

There was, as usual, a cordial answer from the Senate; 
but, in the present House of Representatives, as in the last 
one, the opposition were in the majority. In the response 
reported by a committee, one clause expressing undiminished 
confidence in the chief magistrate was demurred to; some 
members affirmed that, with them, it had been considerably 
diminished by a late transaction. After a warm altercation, 
to avoid a direct vote, the response was recommitted, and 
the clause objected to modified. The following is the form 
adopted: "In contemplating that spectacle of national happi- 
ness which our country exhibits, and of which you, sir, have 
been pleased to make an interesting summary, permit us to 

Cifc of U/asJ?ir)<$too , 337 

acknowledge and declare the very great share which your 
zealous and faithful services have contributed to it, and to 
express the affectionate attachment which we feel for your 

The feelings and position of "Washington with regard 
to England at this juncture, may be judged from a letter 
dated December 22d, to Gouverneur Morris, then in London, 
and who was in occasional communication with Lord Gren- 
ville. Washington gives a detail of the various causes of 
complaint against the British government which were rank- 
ling in the minds of the American people, and which Morris 
was to mention, unofficially, should he converse with Lord 
Grenville on the subject. "I give you these details," writes 
he, "as evidences of the impolitic conduct of the British gov- 
ernment toward these United States ; that it may be seen 
how difficult it has been for the Executive, under such an 
accumulation of irritating circumstances, to maintain the 
ground of neutrality which had been taken; and at a time 
when the remembrance of the aid we have received from 
France in the Revolution was fresh in every mind, and 
while the partisans of that country were continually con- 
trasting the affections of that people with the unfriendly 
disposition of the British government. And that, too, 
while their own sufferings, during the war with the latter, 
had not been forgotten. 

"It is well known that peace has been (to borrow a mod- 
ern phrase) the order of the day with me, since the disturb- 
ances in Europe first commenced. My policy has been, and 
will continue to be, while I have the honor to remain in the 
administration, to maintain friendly terms with, but be inde- 
pendent of, all the nations of the earth ; to share in the broils 
of none ; to fulfill our own engagements ; to supply the wants 

Vol. XV.— ***15 

338 • U/orl^s of U/asl?ir)$toi7 IrviQ$ 

and be carriers for them all. . . . Nothing short of self- 
respect, and that justice which is essential to a national 
character, ought to involve us in war. 

"By a firm adherence to these principles, and to the 
neutral policy which has been adopted, I have brought on 
myself a torrent of abuse in the factious papers of this 
country, and from the enmity of the discontented of all de- 
scriptions. But having no sinister objects in view, I shall 
not be diverted from my course by these, nor any attempts 
which are, or shall be, made to withdraw the confidence of 
my constituents from me. I have nothing to ask ; and, dis- 
charging my duty, I have nothing to fear from invective. 
The acts of my administration will appear when I am no 
more, and the intelligent and candid part of mankind will 
not condemn my conduct without recurring to them." 

The first day of January, being "a day of general joy 
and congratulation," had been appointed by Washington 
to receive the colors of France sent out by the Committee 
of Safety. On that day they were presented by Mr. Adet 
with an address, representing, in glowing language, the 
position of France, "struggling not only for her own liberty, 
but for that of the human race. Assimilated to, or rather 
identified with, free people by the form of her government, 
she saw in them only friends and brothers. Long accus- 
tomed to regard the American people as her most faithful 
allies, she sought to draw closer the ties already formed in 
the fields of America, under the auspices of victory, over 
the ruins of tyranny." 

Washington received the colors with lively sensibility and 
a brief reply, expressive of the deep solicitude and high ad- 
miration produced by the events of the French struggle, and 

Cife of U/asl?ii><$toi? 339 

his joy that the interesting revolutionary movements of so 
many years had issued in the formation of a constitu- 
tion designed to give permanency to the great object 
contended for. 

In February the treaty with Great Britain, as modified 
by the advice of the Senate, came back ratified by the king 
of Great Britain, and on the last of the month a proclama- 
tion was issued by the President, declaring it to be the 
supreme law of the land. 

The opposition in the House of Representatives were 
offended that "Washington should issue this proclamation 
before the sense of that body had been taken on the subject, 
and denied the power of the President and Senate to com- 
plete a treaty without its sanction. They were bent on 
defeating it by refusing to pass the laws necessary to carry 
it into effect; and, as a preliminary, passed a resolution 
requesting the President to lay before the House the instruc- 
tion to Mr. Jay, and the correspondence and other documents 
relative to the treaty. 

Washington, believing that these papers could not be 
constitutionally demanded, resolved, he said, from the first 
moment, and from the fullest conviction of his mind, to 
resist the principle, which was evidently intended to be 
established by the call of the House ; he only deliberated 
on the manner in which this could be done with the least 
bad consequences. 

After mature deliberation and with the assistance of the 
heads of departments and the Attorney-general, he prepared 
and sent in to the House an answer to their request. In this 
he dwelt upon the necessity of caution and secrecy in foreign 
negotiations, as one cogent reason for vesting the power of 
making treaties in the President, with the advice and con- 

340 U/or^s of U/asl?in$ton Iruir?^ 

sent of the Senate, the principle on which that body was 
formed confining it to a small number of members. 

To admit a right in the House of Representatives to 
demand and have all the papers respecting a foreign ne- 
gotiation would, he observed, be to establish a dangerous 

"It did not occur to him," he added, "that the inspection 
of the papers called for could be relative to any purpose 
under the cognizance of the House of Representatives, except 
that of an impeachment, which the resolution had not ex- 
pressed. He had no disposition to withhold any information 
which the duty of his station would permit, or the public 
good should require to be disclosed; and, in fact, all the 
papers affecting the negotiation with Great Britain had been 
laid before the Senate, when the treaty itself had been com- 
municated for their consideration and advice." 

After various further remarks, he concludes: "As, there- 
fore, it is perfectly clear to my understanding that the assent 
of the House of Representatives is not necessary to the va- 
lidity of a treaty; as the treaty with Great Britain exhibits 
itself in all the objects requiring legislative provision; and 
on these the papers called for can throw no light; and as 
it is essential to the due administration of the government 
that the boundaries fixed by the constitution between the 
different departments should be observed, a just regard to 
the constitution and to the duty of my office, under all the 
circumstances of this case, forbid a compliance with your 
request. ' ' 

A resolution to make provision for carrying the treaty 
into effect gave rise to an animated and protracted debate. 
Meanwhile, the whole country became agitated on the sub- 
ject ; meetings were held throughout the United States, and 

Cife of U/asl?ir)$tor) 341 

it soon became apparent that the popular feeling was with 
the minority in the House of Representatives, who favored 
the making of the necessary appropriations. The public will 
prevailed, and, on the last day of April, the resolution was 
passed, though by a close vote of fifty-one to forty-eight. 

For some months past, Mr. Thomas Pinckney had been 
solicitous to be relieved from his post of Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary at London, but the doubtful issue of the above dispute, 
and the difficulty of finding a fit substitute for him, had 
caused delay in the matter ; for, as Mr. Hamilton observed : 
4 'The importance, to our security and commerce, of a good 
understanding with Great Britain, rendered it very impor- 
tant that a man able, and not disagreeable to that govern- 
ment, should be there." Such a man at length presented 
in Mr. Rufus King, of New York. He had vindicated the 
treaty with his pen in part of a series of papers signed Camil- 
lus ; he had defended it by his manly and brilliant eloquence 
in the Senate ; he was now about to quit his seat in that 
body. Hamilton, who knew him well, struck off his char- 
acter admirably in a letter to the President. "Mr. King," 
writes he, "is a remarkably well-informed man, a very 
judicious one, a man of address, a man of fortune and econ- 
omy, whose situation affords just grounds of confidence; a 
man of unimpeachable probity where he is known, a firm 
friend of the government, a supporter of the measures of 
the President ; a man who cannot but feel that he has strong 
pretensions to confidence and trust." 

Mr. King was nominated to the Senate on the 19th of 
May, and his nomination was confirmed. On the 1st of June, 
this session of Congress terminated. 

On the 12th of that month Washington, in a letter to 
Colonel Humphreys, then in Portugal, speaks of the recent 

342 U/or^s of U/a8l?ii}$toi> Iruii)$ 

political campaign: "The gazettes will give you a pretty 
good idea of the state of politics and parties in this country, 
and will show you, at the same time, if Bache's 'Aurora* 
is among them, in what manner I am attacked for perse- 
vering steadily in measures which, to me, appear necessary 
to preserve us, during the conflicts of belligerent powers, in 
a state of tranquillity. But these attacks, unjust and un- 
pleasant as they are, will occasion no change in my conduct, 
nor will they produce any other effect in my mind than 
to increase the solicitude which long since has taken fast 
hold of my heart, to enjoy, in the shades of retirement, the 
consolation of believing that I have rendered to my country 
every service to which my abilities were competent — not 
from pecuniary or ambitious motives, nor from a desire to 
provide for any men, further than their intrinsic merit 
entitled them, and surely not with a view of bringing my 
own relations into office. Malignity, therefore, may dart 
its shafts, but no earthly power can deprive me of the satis- 
faction of knowing that I have not, in the whole course of 
my administration, committed an intentional error." 

On the same day (June 12th) Jefferson, writing from his 
retirement at Monticello, to Mr. Monroe in Paris, showed 
himself sensitive to the influence of Washington's great 
popularity in countervailing party schemes. "Congress have 
risen," writes he. "You will have seen by their proceedings 
the truth of what I always observed to you, that one man 
outweighs them all in the influence over the people, who 
have supported his judgment against their own and that of 
their representatives. Republicanism must lie on its oars, 
resign the vessel to its pilot, and themselves to what course 
he thinks best for them." 

In Bache's " Aurora" of June 9, an anonymous article 

Cife of U/asl?ii)<$toi} 343 

had appeared, disclosing queries propounded by Washington, 
in strict confidence, to the members of the cabinet, in 1793, 
as to the conduct to be observed in reference to England and 
France. As soon as Jefferson saw this article he wrote to 
"Washington (June 19th), disclaiming his having had any 
concern in that breach of official trust. "I have formerly 
mentioned to you," observed he, "that from a very early 
period of my life I had laid it down as a rule of conduct 
never to write a word for the public papers. From this 
I have never departed in a single instance." 

Jefferson further intimates a suspicion that a third party 
had been endeavoring to sow tares between him and Wash- 
ington, by representing him (Jefferson) as still engaged in 
the bustle of politics, and in turbulence and intrigue against 
the government. 

This drew forth a noble reply from Washington. "If 
I had entertained any suspicion before," writes he, "that 
the queries, which have been published in Bache's paper, 
proceeded from you, the assurances you have given me of 
the contrary would have removed them; but the truth is, 
I harbored none. . . . 

"As you have mentioned the subject yourself, it would 
not be frank, candid or friendly to conceal that your conduct 
has been represented as derogating from that opinion I had 
conceived you entertained of me; that to your particular 
friends and connections you have described, and they have 
denounced me as a person under a dangerous influence ; and 
that, if I would listen more to some other opinions, all would 
be well. My answer invariably has been that I had never 
discovered anything in the conduct of Mr. Jefferson to raise 
suspicions in my mind of his insincerity ; that, if he would 
retrace my public conduct while he was in the administra- 

344 U/or^s of U7asl?iQ<$tor) Iruip<$ 

tion, abundant proofs would occur to him that truth and 
right decisions were the sole object of my pursuit; that there 
were as many instances within his own knowledge of my 
having decided against as in favor of the opinions of the 
person evidently alluded to; and, moreover, that I was no 
believer in the infallibility of the politics or measures of any 
man living. In short, that I was no party man myself, and 
that the first wish of my heart was, if parties did exist, to 
reconcile them. 

"To this I may add, and very truly, that, until within 
the last year or two, I had no conception that parties would 
or even could go the length I have been witness to; nor did 
I believe until lately that it was within the bounds of proba- 
bility, hardly within those of possibility, that, while I was 
using my utmost exertions to establish a national character 
of our own, independent, as far as our obligations and justice 
would permit, of every nation of the earth, and wished, by 
steering a steady course, to preserve this country from the 
horrors of a desolating war, I should be accused of being 
the enemy of one nation, and subject to the influence of 
another; and, to prove it, that every act of my administra- 
tion would be tortured, and the grossest and most insidious 
misrepresentations of them be made, by giving one side only 
of a subject, and that, too, in such exaggerated and indecent 
terms as could scarcely be applied to a Nero, a notorious 
defaulter, or even to a common pickpocket. But enough 
of this ; I have already gone further in the expression of my 
feelings than I intended." 

Shortly after the recess of Congress another change was 
made in the foreign diplomacy. 

Mr. Monroe, when sent envoy to France, had been es- 
pecially instructed to explain the views and conduct of the 

Cife of U/astyin^toi} 345 

United States in forming the treaty with England; and he 
had been amply furnished with documents for the purpose. 
From his own letters, however, it appeared that he had 
omitted to use them. Whether this rose from undue attach- 
ment to France, from mistaken notions of American inter- 
ests, or from real dislike to the treaty, the result was the 
very evil he had been instructed to prevent. The French 
government misconceived the views and conduct of the 
United States, suspected their policy in regard to Great 
Britain, and when aware that the House of Representatives 
would execute the treaty made by Jay, became bitter in 
their resentment. Symptoms of this appeared in the cap- 
ture of an American merchantman by a French privateer. 
Under these circumstances it was deemed expedient by 
Washington and his cabinet to recall Mr. Monroe, and 
appoint another American citizen in his stead. 

The person chosen was Charles Cotesworth Pinckney 
of South Carolina, elder brother of the late minister to 
London. Directly after this appointment, which took place 
in July, dispatches were received from Mr. Monroe, com- 
municating complaints which had been addressed to him, 
against the American government, by M. de la Croix, 
French minister of exterior relations, and his reply to the 
same. His reply, though it failed to change the policy of 
the French Directory, was deemed able and satisfactory 
by the Executive. Somewhat later came a letter from Mr. 
Monroe, written on the 24th, by which it appeared that the 
long and confidential letter written by Washington on De- 
cember 2 2d, and cited in a previous page of this chapter, 
had, by some chance, got into the hands of the French 
Directory, and "produced an ill effect." 

In a reply to Monroe, dated August 25th, Washington 

346 U/or^s of U/as^i^toip Iruin<$ 

acknowledged the authenticity of the letter, "but I deny," 
added he, "that there is anything contained in it that the 
French government could take exception to, unless the ex- 
pression of an ardent wish that the United States might 
remain at peace with all the world, taking no part in the 
disputes of any part of it, should have produced this effect. 
I also gave it as my opinion that the sentiments of the mass 
of the citizens of his country were in unison with mine." 

And in conclusion, he observes: " My conduct in public 
and private life, as it relates to the important struggle in 
which the latter nation [France] is engaged, has been uni- 
form from the commencement of it, and may be summed 
up in a few words. I have always wished well to the French 
revolution ; that I have always given it as my decided opin- 
ion that no nation had a right to intermeddle in the internal 
concerns of another ; that every one had a right to form and 
adopt whatever government they liked best to live under 
themselves ; and that, if this country could, consistently with 
its engagements, maintain a strict neutrality, and thereby 
preserve peace, it was bound to do so by motives of policy, 
interest, and every other consideration that ought to actuate 
a people situated as we are, already deeply in debt and in a 
convalescent state from the struggle we have been engaged 
in ourselves. 

"On these principles I have steadily and uniformly pro- 
ceeded, bidding defiance to calumnies calculated to sow the 
seeds of distrust in the French nation, and to excite their 
belief of an influence possessed by Great Britain in the coun- 
cils of this country, than which nothing is more unfounded 
and injurious." * 

* For the entire letter see Washington's Writings, xi. 164. 

Cife of U/asl^ip^top 347 

Still the resentful policy of the French continued, and, 
in October, they issued an arret ordering the seizure of 
British property found on board of American vessels, and 
of provisions bound for England — a direct violation of their 
treaty with the United States. 


Washington's Farewell Address — Meets the two Houses of Congress 
for the last Time — His Speech— Replies of the Senate and House 
— Mr. Giles — Andrew Jackson — Offensive Publication of the 
French Minister — John Adams declared President — Washing- 
ton's Letter to Knox on the Eve of his Retirement —-The Spuri- 
ous Letters — His Farewell Dinner — John Adams takes the Oath 
of Office — Greetings of Washington at the close of the Ceremony 

The period for the presidential election was drawing near, 
and great anxiety began to be felt that Washington would 
consent to stand for a third term. No one, it was agreed, 
had greater claim to the enjoyment of retirement, in consid- 
eration of public services rendered ; but it was thought the 
affairs of the country would be in a very precarious condi- 
tion should he retire before the wars of Europe were brought 
to a close. 

Washington, however, had made up his mind irrevocably 
on the subject, and resolved to announce, in a farewell 
address, his intention of retiring. Such an instrument, it 
will be recollected, had been prepared for him from his own 
notes, by Mr. Madison, when he had thought of retiring 
at the end of his first term. As he was no longer in confi- 
dential intimacy with Mr. Madison, he turned to Mr. Ham- 
ilton as his adviser and coadjutor, and appears to have 

348 U/orl^s of UVasbiO^tor) Iruio<$ 

consulted him on the subject early in the present year; for, 
in a letter dated New York, May 10th, Hamilton writes: 
"When last in Philadelphia, you mentioned to me your wish 
that I should re-dress a certain paper which you had pre- 
pared. As it is important that a thing of this kind should 
he done with great care and at much leisure, touched and 
retouched, I submit a wish that, as soon as you have given 
it the body you mean it to have, it may be sent to me." 

The paper was accordingly sent on the 15th of May, in 
its rough state, altered in one part since Hamilton had seen 
it. "If you should think it best to throw the whole into a 
different form," writes Washington, "let me request, not- 
withstanding, that my draft may be returned to me (along 
with yours), with such amendments and corrections as to 
render it as perfect as the formation is susceptible of; cur- 
tailed if too verbose, and relieved of all tautology not neces- 
sary to enforce the ideas in the original or quoted part. My 
wish is, that the whole may appear in a plain style; and 
be handed to the public in an honest, unaffected, simple 

We forbear to go into the vexed question concerning this 
address; how much of it is founded on Washington's origi- 
nal "notes and heads of topics"; how much was elaborated 
by Madison, and how much is due to Hamilton's recasting 
and revision. The whole came under the supervision of 
Washington; and the instrument, as submitted to the press, 
was in his handwriting, with many ultimate corrections and 
alterations. Washington had no pride of authorship; his ob- 
ject always was to effect the purpose in hand, and- for that 
he occasionally invoked assistance, to insure a plain and clear 
exposition of his thoughts and intentions. The address cer- 
tainly breathes his spirit throughout, is in perfect accordance 

Cife of U/a8l?ii)<$toi) 349 

with his words and actions, and, "in an honest, unaffected, 
simple garb," embodies the system of policy on which he 
had acted throughout his administration. It was published 
in September, in a Philadelphia paper called the "Daily Ad- 
vertiser." * 

The publication of the address produced a great sensa- 
tion. Several of the State Legislatures ordered it to be put 
on their journals. 

"The President's declining to be again elected," writes 
the elder Wolcott, "constitutes a most important epoch in 
our national affairs. The country meet the event with re- 
luctance, but they do not feel that they can make any claim 
for the further services of a man who has conducted their 
armies through a successful war; has so largely contributed 
to establish a national government; has so long presided 
over our councils and directed the public administration, and 
in the most advantageous manner settled all national differ- 
ences ; and who can leave the administration where nothing 
but our folly and internal discord can render the country 
otherwise than happy." 

The address acted as a notice to hush the acrimonious 
abuse of him which the opposition was pouring forth, under 
the idea that he would be a candidate for a renomination. 
"It will serve as a signal, like the dropping of a hat, for the 
party racers to start," writes Fisher Ames, "and I expect a 
great deal of noise, whipping and spurring." 

Congress formed a quorum on the 5th day of December, 
the first day of the session which succeeded the publication 
of the Farewell Address. On the 7th, Washington met the 
two Houses of Congress for the last time. 

* The reader will find the entire address in the Appendix 
to this volume. 

350 U/orl^s of U/asfrir^toi) Iruin$ 

In his speech he recommended an institution for the im- 
provement of agriculture, a military academy, a national 
university, and a gradual increase of the navy. The dis- 
putes with France were made the subject of the following 
remarks: " "While in our external relations some serious in- 
conveniences and embarrassments have been overcome and 
others lessened, it is with much pain and deep regret I men- 
tion that circumstances of a very unwelcome nature have 
lately occurred. Our trade has suffered and is suffering 
extensive injuries in the West Indies from the cruisers and 
agents of the French Republic; and communications bave 
been received from its minister here which indicate the dan- 
ger of a further disturbance of our commerce by its author- 
ity ; and which are in other respects far from agreeable. It 
has been my constant, sincere, and earnest wish, in conform- 
ity with that of our nation, to maintain cordial harmony and 
a perfectly friendly understanding with that Republic. This 
wish remains unabated; and I shall persevere in the en- 
deavor to fulfill it to the utmost extent of what shall be con- 
sistent with a just and indispensable regard to the rights and 
honor of our country ; nor will I easily cease to cherish the 
expectation that a spirit of justice, candor and friendship, on 
the part of the Republic, will eventually insure success. 

"In pursuing this course, however, I cannot forget what 
is due to the character of our government and nation ; or to 
a full and entire confidence in the good sense, patriotism, 
self-respect, and fortitude of my countrymen." 

In concluding his address he observes, *'The situation in 
which I now stand for the last time in the midst of the rep- 
resentatives of the people of the United States, naturally re- 
calls the period when the administration of the present form 
of government commenced, and I cannot omit the occasion 

Cife of \JJastyi)QtOT) 351 

to congratulate you and my country on the success of the 
experiment, nor to repeat my fervent supplications to the Su- 
preme Ruler of the universe and Sovereign Arbiter of na- 
tions, that His providential care may be still extended to the 
United States ; that the virtue and happiness of the people 
may be preserved, and that the government which they have 
instituted for the protection of their liberties may be per- 

The Senate, in their reply to the address, after concur- 
ring in its views of the national prosperity, as resulting 
from the excellence of the constitutional system and the 
wisdom of the legislative provisions, added that they 
would be deficient in gratitude and justice did they not 
attribute a great portion of these advantages to the virtue, 
firmness and talents of his administration, conspicuously dis- 
played in the most trying times, and on the most critical 

Recalling his arduous services, civil and military, as well 
during the struggles of the Revolution as in the convulsive 
period of a later date, their warmest affections and anxious 
regards would accompany him in his approaching retire- 

"The most effectual consolation that can offer for the loss 
we are about to sustain arises from the animating reflection 
that the influence of your example will extend to your suc- 
cessors, and the United States thus continue to enjoy an 
able, upright, and energetic administration." 

The reply of the House, after premising attention to the 
various subjects recommended to their consideration in the 
address, concluded by a warm expression of gratitude and 
admiration, inspired by the virtues and services of the Presi- 
dent, by his wisdom, firmness, moderation and magnanim 

352 U/or^s of U/asfyir^tOQ Irvir>$ 

ity ; and testifying to the deep regret with which they con- 
templated his intended retirement from office. 

"May you long enjoy that liberty which is so dear to you, 
and to which your name will ever be so dear," added they. 
"May your own virtue and a nation's prayers obtain the 
happiest sunshine for the decline of your days, and the choic- 
est of future blessings. For our country's sake, and for the 
sake of republican liberty, it is our earnest wish that your 
example may be the guide of your successors; and thus, 
after being the ornament and safeguard of the present age, 
become the patrimony of our descendants." 

Objections, however, were made to some parts of the re- 
ply by Mr. Giles, of Virginia. He was for expunging such 
parts as eulogized the present administration, spoke of the 
wisdom and firmness of "Washington, and regretted his retir- 
ing from office. He disapproved, he said, of the measures 
of the administration with respect to foreign relations; he 
believed its want of wisdom and firmness had conducted the 
nation to a crisis threatening greater calamity than any that 
had before occurred. He did not regret the President's re- 
tiring from office. He believed the government of the United 
States was founded on the broad basis of the people, that 
they were competent to their own government, and the re- 
maining of no man in office was necessary to the success of 
that government. The people would truly be in a calamitous 
situation if one man were essential to the existence of the 
government. He was convinced that the United States pro- 
duces a thousand citizens capable of filling the Presidential 
chair, and he would trust to the discernment of the people 
for a proper choice. Though the voice of all America should 
declare the President's retiring as a calamity, he could not 
join in the declaration, because he did not conceive it a mis- 

Cife of U/asfyir^top 353 

fortune. He hoped the President would be happy in his 
retirement, and he hoped he would retire.* 

Twelve members voted for expunging those parts of the 
reply to which Mr. Giles had objected. Among the names 
of these members we find that of Andrew Jackson, a young 
man, twenty -nine years of age, as yet unknown to fame, 
and who had recently taken his seat as delegate from the 
newly admitted State of Tennessee. The vote in favor of 
the whole reply, however, was overwhelming. 

The reverence and affection expressed for him in both 
Houses of Congress, and their regret at his intended retire- 
ment, were in unison with testimonials from various State 
Legislatures and other public bodies, which were continually 
arriving since the publication of his Farewell Address. 

During the actual session of Congress, "Washington en- 
deavored to prevent the misunderstandings, which were in 
danger of being augmented between the United States and 
the French government. In the preceding month of Novem- 
ber, Mr. Adet, the French minister, had addressed a letter 
to the Secretary of State, recapitulating the complaints 
against the government of the United States made by his 
predecessors and himself, denouncing the insidious procla- 
mation of neutrality and the wrongs growing out of it, and 
using language calculated to inflame the partisans of France : 
a copy of which letter had been sent to the press for publica- 
tion. One of the immediate objects he had in view, in tim- 
ing the publication, was supposed by "Washington to be to 
produce an effect on the Presidential election ; his ultimate 
object, to establish such an influence in the country as to 

* See Mr. Giles' speech, as reported in the " Aurora* ' 

354 U/or^s of U/a8l?iQ$toi) Irvii>$ 

sway the government and control its measures. Early in 
January, 1797, therefore, Washington requested Mr. Picker- 
ing, the Secretary of State, to address a letter to Mr. Pinck- 
ney, United States minister to France, stating all the com- 
plaints alleged by the French minister against the government, 
examining and reviewing the same, and accompanying the 
statement with a collection of letters and papers relating to 
the transactions therein adverted to. 

"From a desire," writes he, "that the statements be full, 
fair, calm, and argumentative, without asperity or anything 
more irritating in the comments than the narration of facts, 
which expose unfounded charges and assertions, does itself 
produce, I have wished that the letter to Mr. Pinckney may 
be revised over and over again. Much depends upon it, as 
it relates to ourselves, and in the eyes of the world, what- 
ever may be the effect as it respects the governing powers 
of France." 

The letter to Mr. Pinckney, with its accompanying doc- 
uments, was laid before Congress on the 19th of January 
(1797), to be transmitted to that minister. "The immediate 
object of his mission," says Washington in a special mes- 
sage, "was to make that government such explanations of 
the principles and conduct of our own, as, by manifesting 
our good faith, might remove all jealousy and discontent, 
and maintain that harmony and good understanding with 
the French Republic which it has been my constant solici- 
tude to preserve. A government which required only a 
knowledge of the truth to justify its measures could but 
be anxious to have this fully and frankly displayed." 

In the month of February the votes taken at the recent 
election were opened and counted in Congress; when Mr. 
Adams, having the highest number, was declared President, 

Cife of U/asI?i9<$toi7 355 

and Mr. Jefferson, having the next number, Vice-President; 
their term of four years to commence on the 4th of March 
next ensuing. 

Washington now began to count the days and hours that 
intervened between him and his retirement. On the day 
preceding it, he writes to his old fellow-soldier and political 
coadjutor, Henry Knox : "To the wearied traveler, who sees 
a resting-place, and is bending his body to lean thereon, I 
now compare myself; but to be suffered to do this in peace 
is too much to be endured by some. To misrepresent my 
motives, to reprobate my politics, and to weaken the confi- 
dence which has been reposed in my administration, are ob- 
jects which cannot be relinquished by those who will be sat- 
isfied with nothing short of a change in our political system. 
The consolation, however, which results from conscious rec- 
titude, and the approving voice of my country, unequivocally 
expressed by its representatives, deprive their sting of its 
poison, and place in the same point of view both the weak- 
ness and malignity of their efforts. 

"Although the prospect of retirement is most grateful to 
my soul, and I have not a wish to mix again in the great 
world, or to partake in its politics, yet I am not without my 
regrets at parting with (perhaps never more to meet) the few 
intimates whom I love, and among these, be assured, you 
are one. . . The remainder of my life, which in the course 
of nature cannot be long, will be occupied in rural amuse- 
ments ; and though I shall seclude myself as much as pos- 
sible from the noisy and bustling world, none would, more 
than myself, be regaled by the company of those I esteem, 
at Mount Vernon ; more than twenty miles from which, after 
I arrive there, it is not likely that I shall ever be." 

On the morning of the 3d of March, the last day of his 

356 U/or^s of U/as^ir^tor) \r\jir)Q 

official career, Washington addressed a letter to the Secre- 
tary of State on the subject of the spurious letters, heretofore 
mentioned,* first published by the British in 1776, and sub- 
sequently republished during his administration, by some of 
his political enemies. He had suffered every attack on his 
executive conduct to pass unnoticed while he remained in 
public life, but conceived it a justice due to his character 
solemnly to pronounce those letters a base forgery, and he 
desired that the present letter might be "deposited in the 
office of the Department of State, as a testimony to the truth 
to the present generation and to posterity." 

On the same day he gave a kind of farewell dinner to the 
foreign ministers and their wives, Mr. and Mrs. Adams, Mr. 
Jefferson, and other conspicuous personages of both sexes. 
"During the dinner much hilarity prevailed," says Bishop 
"White, who was present. When the cloth was removed 
Washington filled his glass: "Ladies and gentlemen," said 
he, "this is the last time I shall drink your health as a 
public man ; I do it with sincerity, wishing you all possible 

The gayety of the company was checked in an instant; 
all felt the importance of this leave-taking; Mrs. Liston, the 
wife of the British minister, was so much affected that tears 
streamed down her cheeks. 

On the 4th of March, an immense crowd had gathered 
about Congress Hall. At eleven o'clock, Mr. Jefferson took 
the oath as Vice-President in the presence of the Senate ; 
and proceeded with that body to the Chamber of the House 
of Representatives, which was densely crowded, many ladies 
occupying chairs ceded to them by members. 

After a time, Washington entered amid enthusiastic cheers 
* Life of Washington, vol. iii., 8vo, pp. 360, 361. 

Cife of U/astyo^tor; 357 

and acclamations, and the waving of handkerchiefs. Mr. 
Adams soon followed and was likewise well received, but 
not with like enthusiasm. Having taken the oath of office, 
Mr. Adams, in his inaugural address, spoke of his predeces- 
sor as one "who, by a long course of great actions, regulated 
by prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude, had merited 
the gratitude of his fellow-citizens, commanded the highest 
praises of foreign nations, and secured immortal glory with 

At the close of the ceremony, as Washington moved to- 
ward the door to retire, there was a rush from the gallery to 
the corridor that threatened the loss of life or limb, so eager 
were the throng to catch a last look of one who had so long 
been the object of public veneration. When Washington 
was in the street he waved his hat in return for the cheers 
of the multitude, his countenance radiant with benignity, his 
gray hairs streaming in the wind. The crowd followed him 
to his door ; there, turning round, his countenance assumed 
a grave and almost melancholy expression, his eyes were 
bathed in tears, his emotions were too great for utterance, 
and only by gestures could he indicate his thanks and con- 
vey his farewell blessing.* 

In the evening a splendid banquet was given to him by 
the principal inhabitants of Philadelphia in the Amphithea- 
ter, which was decorated with emblematical paintings. All 
the heads of departments, the foreign ministers, several offi* 
cers of the late army, and various persons of note were pres- 
ent. Among the paintings, one represented the home of his 
heart, the home to which he was about to hasten — Mount 

* From personal recollections of William A. Duer, late 
President of Columbia College. 

358 U/or^s of U/asfyio^tor; Iruio$ 


Washington at Mount Vernon — Influx of strange Faces— Lawrence 
Lewis — Miss Nelly Custis — Washington's Counsel in Love Mat- 
ters — A Romantic Episode— Return of George Washington La- 

His official career being terminated, Washington set off 
for Mount Vernon, accompanied by Mrs. Washington, her 
granddaughter, Miss Nelly Custis, and George Washington 
Lafayette, with his preceptors. 

Of the enthusiastic devotion manifested toward him 
wherever he passed he takes the following brief and char- 
acteristic notice: "The attentions we met with on our jour- 
ney were very flattering, and to some, whose minds are dif- 
ferently formed from mine, would have been highly relished ; 
but I avoided, in every instance where I had any previous 
notice of the intention, and could, by earnest entreaties, 
prevail, all parade and escorts." 

He is at length at Mount Vernon, that haven of repose to 
which he had so often turned a wishful eye throughout his 
agitated and anxious life, and where he trusted to pass quietly 
and serenely the remainder of his days. He finds himself, 
however, "in the situation of a new beginner; almost every- 
thing about him required considerable repairs, and a house 
is immediately to be built for the reception and safe keeping 
of his military, civil, and private papers." "In a word," 
writes he, "I am already surrounded by joiners, masons and 
painters, and such is my anxiety to be out of their hands 

Cife of lI/asl?ir?$toi? 359 

that I have scarcely a room to put a friend into, or to sit in 
myself, without the music of hammers and the odoriferous 
scent of paint." 

Still he is at Mount Vernon, and as the spring opens, the 
rural beauties of the country exert their sweetening influ- 
ence. In a letter to his friend Oliver Wolcott, who, as Sec- 
retary of the Treasury, was still acting on "the great thea- 
ter," he adverts but briefly to public affairs. "For myself," 
adds he, exultingly, "having turned aside from the broad 
walks of political into the narrow paths of private life, I 
shall leave it with those whose duty it is to consider subjects 
of this sort, and, as every good citizen ought to do, conform 
to whatsoever the ruling powers shall decide. To make and 
sell a little flour annually, to repair houses going fast to ruin, 
to build one for the security of my papers of a public nature, 
and to amuse myself in agricultural and rural pursuits, will 
constitute employment for the few years I have to remain 
on this terrestrial globe. If, also, I could now and then 
meet the friends I esteem, it would fill the measure and add 
zest to my enjoyments ; but, if ever this happens, it must be 
under my own vine and fig-tree, as I do not think it probable 
that I shall go beyond twenty miles from them." 

And again, to another friend he indulges in pleasant 
anticipations: "Retired from noise myself and the respon- 
sibility attached to public employment, my hours will glide 
smoothly on. My best wishes, however, for the prosperity 
of our country will always have the first place in my 
thoughts; while to repair buildings and to cultivate my 
farms, which require close attention, will occupy the few 
years, perhaps days, I may be a sojourner here, as I am now 
in the sixty-fifth year of my peregrination through life." * 

* Letter to William Heath. Writings, xi. 199. 

360 U/orl^s of U/a8t?ii)<$tor) Iruir?<$ 

A letter to his friend James Mc Henry. Secretary of "War, 
furnishes a picture of his everyday life. "I am indebted to 
you," writes he, ''for several unacknowledged letters; but 
never mind that; go on as if you had answers. You are at 
the source of information, and can find many things to re- 
late, while I have nothing to say that could either inform or 
amuse a Secretary of War in Philadelphia. I might tell him 
that I begin my diurnal course with the sun ; that, if my 
hirelings are not in their places at that time, I send them 
messages of sorrow for their indisposition; that, having put 
these wheels in motion, I examine the state of things further ; 
that the more they are probed the deeper I find the wounds 
which my buildings have sustained, by an absence and neg- 
lect of eight years; that, by the time I have accomplished 
these matters, breakfast (a little after seven o'clock, about 
the time I presume you are taking leave of Mrs. McHenry) 
is ready; that, this being over, I mount my horse and ride 
round my farms, which employs me until it is time to dress 
for dinner, at which I rarely miss seeing strange faces, come, 
as they say, out of respect to me. Pray, would not the word 
curiosity answer as well? And how different this from hav- 
ing a few social friends at a cheerful board ! The usual time 
of sitting at table, a walk, and tea bring me within the dawn 
of candle light; previous to which, if not prevented by com- 
pany, I resolve that, as soon as the glimmering taper sup- 
plies the place of the great luminary, I will retire to my 
writing table and acknowledge the letters I have received; 
but when the lights are brought I feel tired and disinclined 
to engage in this work, conceiving that the next night will 
do as well. The next night comes, and with it the same 
causes for postponement, and so on. Having given you the 
history of a day, it will serve for a year, and, I am per- 

Cife of U/asl?ir)$tor) 361 

suaded, you will not require a second edition of it. But it 
may strike you that in this detail no mention is made of any 
portion of time allotted for reading. The remark would be 
just, for I have not looked into a book since I came home; 
nor shall I be able to do it until I have discharged my work- 
men ; probably not before the nights grow longer, when pos- 
sibly I may be looking in Doomsday Book." 

In his solitary rides about Mount Vernon and its wood- 
lands, fond and melancholy thoughts would occasionally sad- 
den the landscape as his mind reverted to past times and 
early associates. In a letter to Mrs. S. Fairfax, now in 
England, he writes: "It is a matter of sore regret when I 
cast my eyes toward Belvoir, which I often do, to reflect 
that the former inhabitants of it, with whom we lived in 
such harmony and friendship, no longer reside there, and 
the ruins only can be viewed as the mementos of former 

The influx of strange faces alluded to in the letter to Mr. 
McHenry soon became overwhelming, and "Washington felt 
the necessity of having some one at hand to relieve him from 
a part of the self-imposed duties of Virginia hospitality. 

With this view he bethought him of his nephew Law- 
rence Lewis, the same who had gained favor with him by 
volunteering in the "Western expedition, and accompanying 
General Morgan as aid-de-camp. He accordingly addressed 
a letter to him in which he writes: ""Whenever it is conven- 
ient to you to make this place your home, I shall be glad to 
see you. ... As both your aunt and I are in the decline 
of life, and regular in our habits, especially in our hours of 
rising and going to bed, I require some person (fit and prop- 
er) to ease me of the trouble of entertaining company, par- 
ticularly of nights, as it is my inclination to retire (and 

Vol. XV.— * * * 16 

362 U/orl^s of U/a8f?ir;<$tOD Irv?r;$ 

unless prevented by very particular company, I always do 
retire) either to bed or to my study soon after candle light. 
In taking those duties (which hospitality obliges one to be- 
stow on company) off my hands, it would render me a very 
acceptable service." * 

In consequence of this invitation, Lawrence thencefor- 
ward became an occasional inmate at Mount Vernon. The 
place at this time possessed attractions for gay as well as 
grave, and was often enlivened by young company. One 
great attraction was Miss Nelly Custis, Mrs. "Washington's 
granddaughter, who, with her brother George W. P. Custis, 
had been adopted by the general at their father's death, when 
they were quite children, and brought up by him with the 
most affectionate care. He was fond of children, especially 
girls ; as to boys, with all his spirit of command, he found 
them at times somewhat ungovernable. I can govern men, 
would he say, but I cannot govern boys. Miss Nelly had 
grown up under the special eye of her grandmother, to whom 
she was devotedly attached, and who was particular in en- 
forcing her observance of all her lessons, as well as instruct- 
ing her in the arts of housekeeping. She was a great favor- 
ite with the general ; whom, as we have before observed, she 
delighted with her gay whims and sprightly sallies, often 
overcoming his habitual gravity, and surprising him into a 
hearty laugh. 

She was now maturing into a lovely and attractive wo- 
man, and the attention she received began to awaken some 
solicitude in the general's mind. This is evinced in a half 
sportive letter of advice written to her during a temporary 
absence from Mount Vernon, when she was about to make 

* MS. Letter. 

Cife of U/asf?ii)$fcoi) 363 

her first appearance at a ball at Georgetown. It is curious 
as a specimen of Washington's counsel in love matters. It 
would appear that Miss Nelly, to allay his solicitude, had 
already, in her correspondence, professed "a perfect apathy 
toward the youth of the present day, and a determination 
never to give herself a moment's uneasiness on account of 
any of them." Washington doubted the firmness and con- 
stancy of her resolves. "Men and women," writes he, "feel 
the same inclination toward each other now that they always 
have done, and which they will continue to do, until there is 
a new order of things ; and you, as others have done, may 
find that the passions of your sex are easier raised than al- 
layed. Do not, therefore, boast too soon, nor too strongly of 
your insensibility. . . . Love is said to be an involuntary 
passion, and it is, therefore, contended that it cannot be re- 
sisted. This is true in part only, for, like all things else, 
when nourished and supplied plentifully with aliment, it is 
rapid in its progress; but let these be withdrawn, and it may 
be stifled in its birth, or much stinted in its growth. . . • 
Although we cannot avoid first impressions, we may as- 
suredly place them under guard. . . . When the fire is be- 
ginning to kindle and your heart growing warm, propound 
these questions to it. Who is this invader? Have I a com- 
petent knowledge of him? Is he a man of good character? 
A man of sense? For, be assured, a sensible woman can 
never be happy with a fool. What has been his walk in 
life? ... Is his fortune sufficient to maintain me in the 
manner I have been accustomed to live, and as my sisters 
do live? And is he one to whom my friends can have no 
reasonable objection? If all these interrogatories can be 
satisfactorily answered, there will remain but one more to 
be asked ; that, however, is an important one. Have I suffi- 

364: U/orl^s of U/asf?ir)<$toi) Iruii)$ 

cient ground to conclude that his affections are engaged by 
me? Without this the heart of sensibility will struggle 
against a passion that is not reciprocated." * 

The sage counsels of Washington, and the susceptible 
feelings of Miss Nelly, were soon brought to the test by the 
residence of Lawrence Lewis at Mount Vernon. A strong 
attachment for her grew up on his part, or perhaps already 
existed, and was strengthened by daily intercourse. It was 
favorably viewed by his uncle. Whether it was fully recip- 
rocated was uncertain. A formidable rival to Lewis ap- 
peared in the person of young Carroll of Carrollton, who 
had just returned from Europe, adorned with the graces of 
foreign travel, and whose suit was countenanced by Mrs. 
Washington. These were among the poetic days of Mount 
Vernon, when its halls echoed to the tread of lovers. They 
were halcyon days with Miss Nelly, as she herself declared, 
in after years, to a lady, from whom we have the story : "1 
was young and romantic then," said she, "and fond of wan- 
dering alone by moonlight in the woods of Mount Vernon. 
Grandmamma thought it wrong and unsafe, and scolded 
and coaxed me into a promise that I would not wander in 
the woods again unaccompanied. But I was missing one 
evening, and was brought home from the interdicted woods 
to the drawing-room, where the general was walking up and 
down with his hands behind him, as was his wont. Grand- 
mamma, seated in her great armchair, opened a severe re- 

Poor Miss Nelly was reminded of her promise and taxed 
with her delinquency. She knew that she had done wrong 
—admitted her fault, and essayed no excuse; but, when 

* MS. Letter. 

Clfe of U/asl?iD<$tOD 365 

there was a slight pause, moved to retire from the room. 
She was just shutting the door when she overheard the gen- 
eral attempting, in a low voice, to intercede in her behalf. 
"My dear," observed he, "I would say no more— perhaps 
she was not alone." 

His intercession stopped Miss Nelly in her retreat. She 
re- opened the door and advanced up to the general with a 
firm step. "Sir," said she, "you brought me up to speak 
the truth, and when I told grandmamma I was alone, I 
hope you believed I was alone." 

The general made one of his most magnanimous bows. 
"My child," replied he, "I beg your pardon." 

We will anticipate dates, and observe that the romantic 
episode of Miss Nelly Custis terminated to the general's 
satisfaction ; she became the happy wife of Lawrence Lewis, 
as will be recorded in a future page. 

Early in the autumn, Washington had been relieved from 
his constant solicitude about the fortunes of Lafayette. Let- 
ters received by George W. Lafayette from friends in Ham- 
burg informed the youth that his father and family had been 
liberated from Olmutz and were on their way to Paris, with 
the intention of embarking for America. George was dis- 
posed to sail for France immediately, eager to embrace his 
parents and sisters in the first moments of their release. 
Washington urged him to defer his departure until he should 
receive letters from the prisoners themselves, lest they should 
cross the ocean in different directions at the same time, and 
pass each other, which would be a great shock to both par- 
ties. George, however, was not to be persuaded, and "I 
could not withhold my assent," writes Washington, "to the 
gratification of his wishes, to fly to the arms of those whom 
he holds most dear." 

366 U/or^s of U/as^ip^top Irving 

George and his tutor, M. Frestel, sailed from New York 
on the 26th of October. Washington writes from Mount 
Vernon to Lafayette: "This letter, I hope and expect, will 
be presented to you by your son, who is highly deserving of 
such parents as you and your amiable lady. 

"He can relate, much better than I can describe, my 
participation in your sufferings, my solicitude for your relief, 
the measures I adopted, though ineffectual, to facilitate your 
liberation from an unjust and cruel imprisonment, and the 
joy I experienced at the news of its accomplishment. I shall 
hasten, therefore, to congratulate you, and be assured that 
no one can do it with more cordiality, with more sincerity, 
or with greater affection on the restoration of that liberty 
which every act of your life entitles you to the enjoyment 
of; and I hope I may add, to the uninterrupted possession 
of your estates, and the confidence of your country." 

The account which George "W. Lafayette had received 
of the liberation of the prisoners of Olmutz was premature. 
It did not take place until the 19th of September, nor was 
it until the following month of February that the happy 
meeting took place between George and his family, whom 
he found residing in the chateau of a relative in Holstein. 

Cife of U/as^ip^top 367 


Parting Address of the French Directory to Mr. Monroe — The new 
American Minister ordered to leave the Republic — Congress con- 
vened — Measures of Defense recommended — Washington's Con- 
cern — Appointment of three Envoys Extraordinary — Doubts 
their Success — Hears of an old Companion in Arms — The three 
Ministers and Talleyrand — Their degrading Treatment — Threat- 
ened War with France — Washington appointed Commander-in- 
chief — Arranges for three Major-Generals — Knox aggrieved 

Washington had been but a few months at Mount Ver- 
non, when he received intelligence that his successor in office 
had issued a proclamation for a special session of Congress. 
He was not long in doubt as to its object. The French gov- 
ernment had declared, on the recall of Mr. Monroe, that it 
would not receive any new minister plenipotentiary from the 
United States until that power should have redressed the 
grievances* of which the republic had complained. When 
Mr. Monroe had his audience of leave, Mr. Barras, the Presi- 
dent of the Directory, addressed him in terms complimentary 
to himself, but insulting to his country. "The French Re- 
public hopes," said he, "that the successors of Columbus, 
of Raleigh, and of Penn, ever proud of their liberty, will 
never forget that they owe it to France. . . In their wis- 
dom, they will weigh the magnanimous benevolence of the 
French people with the artful caresses of perfidious designers, 
who meditate to draw them back to their ancient slavery. 
Assure, Mr. Minister, the good American people that, like 
them, we adore liberty; that they will always have our 
esteem, and that they will find in the French people the 

368 U/orKs of U/asbir^toi) Irvir/$ 

republican generosity which knows how to accord peace, as 
it knows how to make its sovereignty respected. 

"As to you, Mr. Minister Plenipotentiary, you have 
fought for the principles, you have known the true inter- 
ests of your country. Depart with our regrets. "We give 
up, in you, a representative of America, and we retain the 
remembrance of the citizen whose personal qualities honor 
that title." 

A few days afterward, when Mr. Charles Cotesworth 
Pinekney presented himself as successor to Mr. Monroe, the 
Directory refused to receive him, and followed up the indig- 
nity by ordering him to leave the territories of the republic. 
Its next step was to declare applicable to American ships 
the rules in regard to neutrals contained in the treaty which 
Washington had signed with England. 

It was in view of these facts and of the captures of Amer- 
ican vessels by French cruisers, that President Adams had 
issued a proclamation to convene Congress on the 15th of 
May. In his opening speech, he adverted especially to what 
had fallen from Mr. Barras in Monroe's audience of leave. 
"The speech of the President," said he, "discloses senti- 
ments more alarming than the refusal of a minister, because 
more dangerous to our independence and union; and, at 
the same time, studiously marked with indignities toward 
the government of the United States. It evinces a disposi- 
tion to separate the people from their government; to per- 
suade them that they have different affections, principles 
and interests from those of their fellow-citizens whom they 
themselves have chosen to manage their common concerns, 
and thus to produce divisions fatal to our peace. Such at- 
tempts ought to be repelled with a decision which shall con- 
vince France and the world that we are not a degraded 

Cife of U/ast?ir><$tor> 369 

people, humiliated under a colonial spirit of fear and sense 
of inferiority, fitted to be the miserable instrument of foreign 
influence, and regardless of national honor, character and 
interest.' ' 

Still he announced his intention to institute a fresh at- 
tempt, by negotiation, to effect an amicable adjustment 
of differences, on terms compatible with the rights, duties, 
interests and honor of the nation ; but in the meantime he 
recommended to Congress to provide effectual measures of 

Though personally retired from public life, Washington 
was too sincere a patriot to be indifferent to public affairs, 
and felt acutely the unfriendly acts of the French govern- 
ment, so repugnant to our rights and dignity. "The Presi- 
dent's speech," writes he, "will, I conceive, draw forth, 
mediately or immediately, an expression of the public mind | 
and as it is the right of the people that this should be carried 
into effect, their sentiments ought to be unequivocally known, 
that the principles on which the government has acted, and 
which, from the President's speech, are likely to be con- 
tinued, may either be changed, or the opposition that is 
endeavoring to embarrass every measure of the Executive 
may meet effectual discountenance. Things cannot and 
ought not to remain any longer in their present disagreeable 
state. Nor should the idea that the government and the 
people have different views be suffered any longer to prevail 
at home or abroad ; for it is not only injurious to us, but 
disgraceful also, that a government constituted as ours is 
should be administered contrary to their interests, if the 
fact be so." * 

* Letter to Thomas Pinckney. "Writings, xi. 202. 

370 U/or^s of U/asI?io$t:OD Irvfo^ 

In pursuance of the policy announced by Mr. Adams, 
three envoys extraordinary were appointed to the French 
republic; viz., Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Marshall, 
and Elbridge Gerry; the two former federalists, the latter 
a democrat. The object of their mission, according to the 
President, was "to dissipate umbrages, remove prejudices, 
rectify errors, and adjust ail differences by a treaty between 
the two powers." 

Washington doubted an adjustment of the differences. 
"Candor," said he, "is not a more conspicuous trait in the 
character of governments than it is of individuals. It is 
hardly to be expected, then, that the Directory of France 
will acknowledge its errors and tread back its steps imme- 
diately. This would announce at once that there has been 
precipitancy and injustice in the measures they have pur- 
sued; or that they were incapable of judging, and had been 
deceived by false appearances." 

About this time he received a pamphlet on the "Military 
and Political Situation of France." It was sent to him by 
the author, General Dumas, who, in the time of our Revolu- 
tion, had been an officer in the army of the Count de Ro- 
chambeau. "Your Excellency," writes Dumas, "will ob- 
serve in it (the pamphlet) the effect of your lessons." Then 
speaking of his old military chief : "General Rochambeau," 
adds he, "is still at his country seat near Vendome. He 
enjoys there tolerably good health considering his great age, 
and reckons, as well as his military family, among his most 
dear and glorious remembrances, that of the time we had 
the honor to serve under your command." 

Some time had elapsed since Washington had heard of 
his old companion in arms, who had experienced some of the 
melodramatic vicissitudes of the French revolution. After 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$t09 371 

the arrest of the king he hap taken anew the oath of the 
constitution, and commanded the army of the north, having 
again received the baton of field marshal. Thwarted in his 
plans by the Minister of War, he had resigned and retired 
to his estate near Vendome ; but during the time of terror 
had been arrested, conducted to Paris, thrown into the con- 
ciergerie, and condemned to death. When the car came 
to convey a number of the victims to the guillotine, he was 
about to mount it, but the executioner, seeing it full, thrust 
him back. "Stand back, old marshal, " cried he, roughly, 
"your turn will come by-and-by." (Retire toi, vieux mare- 
chal, ton tour viendra plus tard.) A sudden change in 
political affairs saved his life, and enabled him to return 
to his home near Vendome, where he now resided. 

In a reply to Dumas, which Washington forwarded by 
the minister plenipotentiary about to depart for France, he 
sent his cordial remembrances to De Rochambeau.* 

The three ministers met in Paris on the 4th of October 
(1797), but were approached by Talleyrand and his agents 
in a manner which demonstrated that the avenue to justice 
could only be opened by gold. Their official report f reveals 
the whole of this dishonorable intrigue. It states that Mr. 
Pinckney received a visit from Mr. Bellarni, the secret agent 

* The worthy De Rochambeau survived the storms of 
the Revolution. , In 1803 he was presented to Napoleon, 
who, pointing to Berthier and other generals who had once 
served under his orders, said: "Marshal, behold your schol- 
ars." "The scholars have surpassed their master," replied 
the modest veteran. 

In the following year he received the cross of grand 
officer of the legion of honor, and a marshal's pension. He 
died full of years and honors, in 1807. 

t American State Papers, vols. hi. and iv. 

372 U/orl^s of U/as^io^top Irvir;$ 

of Mr. Talleyrand, who assured him that Citizen Talleyrand 
had the highest esteem for America and the citizens of the 
United States, and was most anxious for their reconciliation 
with France. With that view some of the most offensive 
passages in the speech of President Adams (in May, 1797) 
must be expunged, and a douceur of two hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars put at the disposal of Mr. Talleyrand for 
the use of the Directory, and a large loan made by America 
to France. 

On the 20th of October, the same subject was resumed 
in the apartments of the plenipotentiary, and, on this occa- 
sion, besides the secret agent, an intimate friend of Talley- 
rand was present. The expunging of the passages in the 
President's speech was again insisted on, and it was added 
that, after that, money was the principal object. "We must 
have money — a great deal of money!" were his words. 

At a third conference, October 21st, the sum was fixed 
at 32,000,000 francs (6,400,000 dollars), as a loan secured 
on the Dutch contributions^ and 250,000 dollars in the form 
of a douceur to the Diretory. 

At a subsequent meeting, October 27th, the same secret 
agent said, "Gentlemen, you mistake the point, you say 
nothing of the money you are to give — you make no offer 
of money — on that point you are not explicit." ""We 
are explicit enough," replied the American envoys. "We 
will not give you one farthing; and before coming here, 
we should have thought such an offer as you now propose 
would have been regarded as a mortal insult." 

On this indignant reply, the wily agent intimated that 
if they would only pay, by way of fees, just as they would 
to a lawyer who should plead their case, the sum required 
for the private use of the Directory, they might remain at 

Cife of U/a8t?ir)<$tor> 373 

Paris until they should receive further orders from America 
as to the loan required for government* 

Being inaccessible to any such disgraceful and degrading 
propositions, the envoys remained several months in Paris 
unaccredited, and finally returned at separate times, without 
an official discussion of the object of their mission, f 

During this residence of the envoys in Paris, the Direc- 
tory, believing the people of the United States would not sus- 
tain their government in a war against France, proceeded 
to enact a law subjecting to capture and condemnation neu» 
tral vessels and their cargoes, if any portion of the latter 
was of British fabric or produce, although the entire property 
might belong to neutrals. As the United States were at this 
time the great neutral carriers of the world, this iniquitous 
decree struck at a vital point in their maritime power. J 

When this act and the degrading treatment of the Amer- 
ican envoys became known, the spirit of the nation was 
aroused, and war with France seemed inevitable. 

The crisis was at once brought to Washington's own 
door. "You ought to be aware, 59 writes Hamilton to him, 
May 19, "that in the event of an open rupture with France, 
the public voice will again call you to command the armies 
of your country ; and though all who are attached to you 
will, from attachment as well as public considerations, de- 
plore an occasion which should once more tear you from 
that repose to which you have so good a right, yet it is the 

* See Life of Talleyrand, by the Rev. Charles K. McHarg, 
pp. 161, 162. 

f Marshall left France April 16, 1798; Gerry on the 26th 
July. Pinckney, detained by the illness of his daughter, 
did not arrive in the United States until early in October. 

X McHarg's Life of Talleyrand, 160. 

374 U/or^s of U/as^ir><$tor> Iruir)^ 

opinion of all those with whom I converse, that you will 
be compelled to make the sacrifice. All your past labors 
may demand, to give them efficacy, this further, this very 
great sacrifice." 

The government was resolved upon vigorous measures. 
Congress, on the 28th of May, authorized Mr. Adams to 
enlist ten thousand men as a provisional army, to be called 
by him into actual service, in case of hostilities. 

Adams was perplexed by the belligerent duties thus sud- 
denly devolved upon him. How should he proceed in form- 
ing an army? Should he call on all the old generals who 
had figured in the Revolution, or appoint a young set? Mili 
tary tactics were changed, and a new kind of enemy wa^ 
to be met. "If the French come here," said he, "we will 
have to march with a quick step and attack, for in that way 
only they are said to be vulnerable." 

These and other questions he propounded to "Washington 
by letter, on the 22d of June. "I must tax you sometimes 
for advice," writes he. "We must have your name, if you 
will in any case permit us to use it. There will be more 
efficacy in it than in many an army." 

And McHenry, the Secretary of War, writes, about the 
same time: "You see how the storm thickens, and that our 
vessel will soon require its ancient pilot. Will you — may 
we flatter ourselves, that, in a crisis so awful and important, 
you will — accept the command of all our armies? I hope 
you will, because you alone can unite all hearts and all 
hands, if it is possible that they can be united." 

In a reply to the President's letter, Washington writes, 
on the 4th of July: "At the epoch of my retirement, an 
invasion of these States by any European power, or even 
the probability of such an event happening in my days, was 


Cife of U/asl?ir)<$toi) 375 

30 far from being contemplated by me, that I had no concep- 
tion that that or any other occurrence would arise in so short 
a period, which could turn my eyes from the shade of 'Mount 
Vernon. ... In case of actual invasion^ by a formidable 
force, I certainly should not intrench myself under the cover 
of age and retirement, if my services should be required by 
my country to assist in repelling it." 

And in his reply of the same date, to the Secretary of 
"War, he writes: "I see, as you do, that clouds are gather- 
ing, and that a storm may ensue; and I find, too, from a 
variety of hints, that my quiet, under these circumstances, 
does not promise to be of long continuance. 

* ' As my whole life has been dedicated to my country 
in one shape or another, for the poor remains of it, it is not 
an object to contend for ease and quiet, when all that is 
valuable is at stake, further than to be satisfied that the 
sacrifice I should make of these is acceptable and desired 
by my country." 

Before these letters were dispatched he had already been 
nominated to the Senate (July 3d) commander-in-chief of 
all the armies raised or to be raised. His nomination was 
unanimously confirmed on the following day, and it was 
determined that the Secretary of War should be the bearer 
of the commission to Mount Vernon, accompanied by a letter 
from the President. "The reasons and motives," writes 
Mr. Adams in his instructions to the Secretary, "which 
prevailed with me to venture upon such a step as the nomi- 
nation of this great and illustrious character, whose volun- 
tary resignation alone occasioned my introduction to the 
office I now hold, were too numerous to be detailed in this 
letter, and are too obvious and important to escape the 

376 U/or^s of U/a8^ip<$toi) In/ino; 

observation of any part of America or Europe. But as it 
is a movement of great delicacy, it will require all your 
address to communicate the subject in a manner that shall 
be unoffensive to his feelings and consistent with all the 
respect that is due from me to him. 

"If the General should decline the appointment, all the 
world will be silent and respectfully assent. If he should 
accept it, all the world, except the enemies of this country, 
will rejoice." 

Mr. McHenry was instructed to consult Washington 
upon the organization of the army, and upon everything 
relating to it. He was the bearer also of a letter from Ham- 
ilton. "I use the liberty,' ' writes he, " which my attach- 
ment to you and to the public authorizes, to offer you my 
opinion that you should not decline the appointment. It is 
evident that the public satisfaction at it is lively and uni- 
versal. It is not to be doubted that the circumstances will 
give an additional spring to the public mind, will tend much 
to unite, and will facilitate the measures which the conjunc- 
tion requires. " 

It was with a heavy heart that Washington found his 
dream of repose once more interrupted ; but his strong fidelity 
to duty would not permit him to hesitate. He accepted the 
commission, however, with the condition that he should not 
be called into the field until the army was in a situation to 
require his presence; or it should become indispensable by 
the urgency of circumstances. 

"In making this reservation," added he, in his letter to 
the President, "I beg it to be understood that I do not mean 
to withhold any assistance to arrange and organize the army 
which you may think I can afford. I take the liberty, also, 
to mention that I must decline having my acceptance con- 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$tor) 37? 

sidered as drawing after it any immediate charge upon the 
public; or that I can receive any emoluments annexed to 
the appointment before entering into a situation to incur 

He made another reservation, through the Secretary of 
War, but did not think proper to embody it in his public 
letter of acceptance, as that would be communicated to the 
Senate, which was, that the principal officers in the line 
and of the staff should be such as he could place confi- 
dence in. 

As to the question which had perplexed Mr. Adams 
whether, in forming the army, to call on all the old generals 
or appoint a new set, "Washington's idea was that, as the 
armies about to be raised were commencing de novo y the 
President had the right to make officers of citizens or soldiers 
at his discretion, availing himself of the best aid the country 
afforded. That no officer of the old army, disbanded four- 
teen years before, could expect, much less claim, an appoint- 
ment on any other ground than superior experience, brilliant 
exploits, and general celebrity founded on merit. 

It was with such views that, in the arrangements made 
by him with the Secretary of War, the three major-generals 
stood, Hamilton, who was to be Inspector-general, Charles 
Cotesworth Pinckney (not yet returned from Europe), and 
Knox: in which order he wished their commissions to be 
dated. The appointment of Hamilton as second in command 
was desired by the public, on account of his distinguished 
ability, energy and fidelity. Pickering, in recommending 
it, writes: "The enemy whom we are now preparing to 
encounter, veterans in arms, led by able and active officers, 
and accustomed to victory, must be met by the best blood, 
talents, energy and experience that our country can pro* 

378 U/or^s of U/as^io^tor; Iruii)^ 

duce." "Washington, speaking of him to the President, 
says: "Although Colonel Hamilton has never acted in the 
character of a general officer, yet his opportunities, as the 
principal and most confidential aid of the commander-in- 
chief, afforded him the means of viewing everything on a 
larger scale than those whose attention was confined to 
divisions or brigades, who know nothing of the correspond- 
ences of the commander-in-chief, or of the various orders 
to, or transactions with, the general staff of the army. 
These advantages, and his having served with usefulness 
in the old Congress, in the general convention, and having 
filled one of the most important departments of government 
with acknowledged abilities and integrity, have placed him 
on high ground, and made him a conspicuous character in 
the United States and in Europe. . . . 

"By some he is considered an ambitious man, and, there- 
fore, a dangerous one. That he is ambitious, I shall readily 
grant, but it is of that laudable kind which prompts a man 
to excel in whatever he takes in hand. He is enterprising, 
quick in his perceptions, and his judgment intuitively great 
— qualities essential to a military character." 

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was placed next in rank, 
not solely on account of his military qualifications, which 
were great, but of his popularity and influence in the South- 
ern States, where his connections were numerous and power- 
ful; it being apprehended that, if the French intended an 
invasion in force, their operations would commence south of 
Maryland ; in which case it would be all important to em- 
bark General Pinckney and his connections heartily in the 
active scenes that would follow. 

By this arrangement Hamilton and Pinckney took prece- 
dence of Knox, an officer whom Washington declared he 

Cife of U/asl?i9$toi) 379 

loved and esteemed ; but he trusted the exigencies of the case 
would reconcile the latter to the position assigned to him. 
" Viewing things in this light," writes he to Knox, July 
16th, "I would fain hope, as we are forming an army anew, 
which army, if needful at all, is to fight for everything which 
ought to be dear and sacred to freemen, that former rank 
will be forgotten, and, among the fit and chosen characters, 
the only contention will be who shall be foremost in zeal at 
this crisis to serve his country, in whatever situation circum- 
stances may place him. ,, 

The reply of Knox, written in the glow of the moment, 
bespoke how deeply his warm impulsive feelings were 
wounded. "I yesterday received your favor," writes he, 
"which I opened with all the delightful sensations of affec- 
tion which I always before experienced upon the receipt of 
your letters. But I found, on its perusal, a striking instance 
of that vicissitude of human affairs and friendships which 
you so justly describe. I read it with astonishment, which, 
however, subsided in the reflection that few men know them- 
selves, and, therefore, that for more than twenty years I 
have been acting under a perfect delusion. Conscious my- 
self of entertaining for you a sincere, active and invariable 
friendship, I easily believed it was reciprocal. Nay more, I 
flattered myself with your esteem and respect in a military 
point of view. But I find that others, greatly my juniors in 
rank, have been, upon a scale of comparison, preferred be- 
fore me. Of this, perhaps, the world may also concur with 
you that I have no just reason to complain. But every in- 
telligent and just principle of society required, either that I 
should have been previously consulted in an arrangement 
in which my feelings and happiness have been so much 
wounded, or that I should not have been dragged forth to 

380 U/orl^s of U/asbir)$toi) Iruioo; 

public view at all, to make the comparison so conspicuously 

After continuing in an expostulatory vein, followed by 
his own views of the probable course of invasion, he adds, 
toward the close of his letter — "I have received no other no- 
tification of an appointment than what the newspapers an- 
nounce. "When it shall please the Secretary of War to give 
me the information, I shall endeavor to make him a suitable 
answer. At present, I do not perceive how it can possibly 
be to any other purport than in the negative." 

In conclusion, he writes: "In whatever situation I shall 
be, I shall always remember with pleasure and gratitude the 
friendship and confidence with which you have heretofore 
honored me. 

"I am, with the highest attachment," etc. 

Washington was pained in the extreme at the view taken 
by General Knox of the arrangement, and at the wound 
which it had evidently given to his feelings and his pride. 
In a letter to the President (25th Sept.), he writes: "With 
respect to General Knox, I can say with truth there is no 
man in the United States with whom I have been in habits 
of greater intimacy, no one whom I have loved more sin- 
cerely, nor any for whom I have had a greater friendship. 
But esteem, love and friendship can have no influence on my 
mind, when I conceive that the subjugation of our govern- 
ment and independence are the objects aimed at by the ene- 
mies of our peace, and when, possibly, our all is at stake." 

In reply to Knox, Washington, although he thought the 
reasons assigned in his previous letter ought to have been 
sufficiently explanatory of his motives, went into long details 
of the circumstances under which the military appointments 
had been made, and the important considerations which 

Cife of \JJas\)\T)QtOY) 381 

dictated them ; and showing that it was impossible for him 
to consult Knox previously to the nomination of the general 

"I do not know," writes he, "that these explanations 
will afford you any satisfaction or produce any change in 
your determination, but it was just to myself to make them. 
If there has been any management in the business, it has 
been concealed from me. I have had no agency therein, nor 
have I conceived a thought on the subject that has not been 
disclosed to you with the utmost sincerity and frankness of 
heart. And now, notwithstanding the insinuations, which 
are implied in your letter, of the vicissitudes of friendship 
and the inconstancy of mine, I will pronounce with decision 
that it ever has been, and, notwithstanding the unkindness 
of the charge, ever will be, for aught I know to the contrary, 
warm and sincere." 

The genial heart of Knox was somewhat soothed and 
mollified by the "welcome and much esteemed letter of 
"Washington, in which," said he, "I recognize fully all the 
substantial friendship and kindness which I have invariably 
experienced from you." Still he was tenacious of the point 
of precedence, and unwilling to serve in a capacity which 
would compromise his pride. "If an invasion shall take 
place," writes he, "I shall deeply regret all circumstances 
which would insuperably bar my having an active commad 
in the field. But if such a measure should be my destiny, I 
shall fervently petition to serve as one of your aides-de-camp, 
which, with permission, I shall do with all the cordial devo- 
tion and affection of which my soul is capable." 

On the 18th of October, Washington learned through the 
gazettes of the safe arrival of General Pinckney at New 
York, and was anxious lest there should be a second part 

S82 U/orl^s of U/a8^ir>^toi> Iruii}$ 

of the difficulty created by General Knox. On the 21st he 
writes again to Knox, reiterating his wish to have him in 
the augmented corps as a major-general. 

""We shall have either no war, or a severe contest with 
France ; in either case, if you will allow me to express my 
opinion, this is the most eligible time for you to come for- 
ward. In the first case, to assist with your counsel and aid 
in making judicious provisions and arrangements to avert 
it; in the other case, to share in the glory of defending your 
country, and, by making all secondary objects yield to that 
great and primary object, display a mind superior to embar- 
rassing punctilios at so critical a moment as the present. 

"After having expressed these sentiments with the frank- 
ness of undisguised friendship, it is hardly necessary to add 
that, if you should finally decline the appointment of major- 
general, there is none to whom I would give a more decided 
preference as an aid-de-camp, the offer of which is highly 
flattering, honorable, and grateful to my feelings, and for 
which I entertain a high sense. But, my dear General 
Knox, and here again I repeat to you, in the language of 
candor and friendship, examine well your own mind upon 
this subject. Do not unite yourself to the suite of a man 
whom you may consider as the primary cause of what you 
call a degradation, with unpleasant sensations. This, while 
it is gnawing upon you, would, if I should come to the 
knowledge of it, make me unhappy ; as my first wish would 
be that my military family, and the whole army, should 
consider themselves a band of brothers, willing and ready 
to die for each other." 

Before Knox could have received this letter, he had, on 
the 23d of October, written to the Secretary of "War, declin- 
ing to serve under Hamilton and Pinckney, on the principle 

Cife of U/asl?ii}<$toi) 383 

that "no officer can consent to his own degradation by serv- 
ing in an inferior station." General Pinckney, on the con- 
trary, cheerfully accepted his appointment, although placed 
under Hamilton, who had been of inferior rank to him in the 
last war. It was with the greatest pleasure he had seen that 
officer's name at the head of the list of major-generals, and 
applauded the discernment which had placed him there. He 
regretted that General Knox had declined his appointment, 
and that his feelings should be hurt by being outranked. 
"If the authority," adds he, "which appointed me to the 
rank of second major in the army, will review the arrange- 
ment, and place General Knox before me, I will neither quit 
the service nor be dissatisfied." * 


Washington taxed anew with the Cares of Office — Correspondence 
with Lafayette — A Marriage at Mount Vernon — Appointment 
of a Minister to the French Republic — Washington's Surprise — 
His Activity on his Estate — Political Anxieties — Concern about 
the Army 

Early in November (1798) Washington left his retire- 
ment and repaired to Philadelphia, at the earnest request of 
the Secretary of War, to meet that public functionary and 
Major-generals Hamilton and Pinckney, and make arrange- 
ments respecting the forces about to be raised. The Secre- 
tary had prepared a series of questions for their considera- 
tion, and others were suggested by Washington, all bearing 
upon the organization of the provisional army. Upon these 

Letter to the Secretary of War. 

384 U/or^s of U/asfyio^toi} Iruio<$ 

Washington and the two major-generals were closely en- 
gaged for nearly five weeks, at great inconvenience and in 
a most inclement season. The result of their deliberations 
was reduced to form, and communicated to the Secretary in 
two letters drafted by Hamilton and signed by the command- 
er-in-chief. Not the least irksome of Washington's task, in 
his present position, was to wade through volumes of appli- 
cations and recommendations for military appointments; a 
task which he performed with extreme assiduity, anxious to 
avoid the influence of favor or prejudice, and sensitively alive 
to the evil of improper selections. 

As it was a part of the plan on which he had accepted 
the command of the army to decline the occupations of the 
office until circumstances should require his presence in the 
field, and as the season and weather rendered him impatient 
to leave Philadelphia, he gave the Secretary of Y/ar his 
views and plans for the charge and direction of military 
affairs, and then set out once more for Mount Vernon. The 
cares and concerns of office, however, followed him to his re- 
treat. "It is not the time nor the attention only," writes 
he, "which the public duties I am engaged in require, but 
their bringing upon me applicants, recommenders of appli- 
cants, and seekers of information, none of whom, perhaps, 
are my acquaintances, with their servants and horses to aid 
in the consumption of my forage, and what to me is more 
valuable, my time, that I most regard ; for a man in the 
country, nine miles from any house of entertainment, is 
differently situated from one in a city, where none of these 
inconveniences are felt." In a letter, recently received 
from Lafayette, the latter spoke feelingly of the pleasure 
he experienced in conversing incessantly with his son George 
about Mount Vernon, its dear and venerated inhabitants, of 

Cife of U/asI?ir?<$bor> 385 

the tender obligation, so profoundly felt, which he and his 
son had contracted toward him who had become a father 
to both. 

In the conclusion of his letter, Lafayette writes that, from 
the information he had received, he was fully persuaded that 
the French Directory desired to be at peace with the United 
States. "The aristocraiical party," adds he, " whose hatred 
of America dates from the commencement of the European 
revolution, and the English government, which, since the 
Declaration of Independence, have forgotten and forgiven 
nothing, will rejoice, I know, at the prospect of a rupture 
between two nations heretofore united in the cause of liberty, 
and will endeavor, by all the means in their power, to pre- 
cipitate us into a war. . . . But you are there, my dear 
general, independent of all parties, venerated by all, and if, 
as I hope, your information lead you to judge favorably of 
the disposition of the French government, your influence 
ought to prevent the breach from widening, and should in- 
sure a noble and durable reconciliation.'* 

In his reply, Dec. 25th, Washington says: "You have 
expressed a wish worthy of the benevolence of your heart, 
that I would exert all my endeavors to avert the calamitous 
effects of a rupture between our countries. Believe me, my 
dear friend, that no man can deprecate an event of this sort 
more than 1 should. . . . You add, in another place, that 
the Executive Directory are disposed to an accommodation 
of all differences. If tney are sincere m tnis declaration, let 
them evidence it by actions ; for words, unaccompanied there- 
with, will not be much regarded now. I would pledge my- 
self that the government and people of the United States 
will meet them heart and hand at a fair negotiation ; having 

no wish more ardent than to live in peace with all the world, 

Vol. XV.— * * * 17 

386 U/orl^s of U/aslpiD^tOQ Irving 

provided they are suffered to remain undisturbed in their 
just rights." 

4 'Of the politics of Europe," adds he, in another part of 
his letter, C< I shall express no opinion, nor make any inquiry 
who is right or who is wrong. I wish well to all nations 
and to all men. My politics are plain and simple. I think 
every nation has a right to establish that form of govern- 
ment under which it conceives it may live most happy ; pro- 
vided it infringes no right, or is not dangerous to others ; 
and that no governments ought to interfere with the internal 
concerns of another, except for the security of what is due 
to themselves." 

"Washington's national pride, however, had been deeply 
wounded by the indignities inflicted on his country by the 
French, and he doubted the propriety of entering into any 
fresh negotiations with them, unless overtures should be 
made on their part. As to any symptoms of an accommo- 
dation they might at present evince, he ascribed them to the 
military measures adopted by the United States, and thought 
those measures ought not to be relaxed. 

"We have spoken in a preceding chapter of a love affair 
growing up at Mount Yernon between "Washington's nephew, 
Lawrence Lewis, and Miss Nelly Custis. The parties had 
since become engaged, to the general's great satisfaction, 
and their nuptials were celebrated at Mount Yernon on his 
birthday, the 22d of February (1799). Lawrence had re- 
cently received the commission of major of cavalry in the 
new army which was forming; and Washington made ar- 
rangements for settling the newly married couple near him 
on a part of the Mount Yernon lands which he had desig- 
nated in his will to be bequeathed to Miss Nelly. 

As the year opened, Washington continued to correspond 

Cife of U/ast>ii}$tor> 387 

with the Secretary of War and General Hamilton on the 
affairs of the provisional army. The recruiting business 
went on slowly, with interruptions, and there was delay in 
furnishing commissions to the officers who had been ap- 
pointed. Washington, who was not in the secrets of the 
cabinet, was at a loss to account for this apparent torpor. 
"If the augmented force," writes he to Hamilton, "was not 
intended as an in terrorem measure, the delay in recruiting 
it is unaccountable, and baffles all conjecture on reasonable 

The fact was that the military measures taken in Ameri- 
can had really produced an effect on French policy. Efforts 
had been made by M. Talleyrand, through unofficial persons, 
to induce an amicable overture on the part of the United 
States. At length that wily minister had written to the 
French Secretary of Legation at the Hague, M. Pichon, in- 
timating that whatever plenipotentiary the United States 
might send to France to put an end to the existing differ- 
ences between the two countries would be undoubtedly re- 
ceived with the respect due to the representative of a free, 
independent and powerful nation. M. Pichon communi- 
cated a copy of this letter to Mr. William Vans Murray, 
the American minister in Holland, who forthwith trans- 
mitted it to his government. Mr. Adams caught at the 
chance for an extrication from his belligerent difficulties, 
and laid this letter before the Senate on the 18th of Febru- 
ary, at the same time nominating Mr. Murray to be minister 
plenipotentiary to the French Republic. 

Washington expressed his extreme surprise when the 
news of this unexpected event reached him. "But far, very 
far indeed," writes he, "was that surprise short of what I 
experienced the next day, when, by a very intelligent gen- 

388 U/or^s of U/asfyir^toi) /ruiQ<$ 

tleman immediately from Philadelphia, I was informed that 
there had been no direct overture from the government of 
France to that of the United States for a negotiation; on 
the contrary, that M. Talleyrand was playing the same loose 
and round-about game he had attempted the year before 
with our envoys; and which, as in that case, might mean 
anything or nothing, as would subserve his purposes best." 

Before the Senate decided on the nomination of Mr. 
Murray, two other persons were associated with him in the 
mission, namely, Oliver Ellsworth and Patrick Henry. The 
three envoys being confirmed, Mr. Murray was instructed 
by letter to inform the French Minister of Foreign Affairs 
of the fact, but to apprise him that his associate envoys 
would not embark for Europe until the Directory had given 
assurance, through their Minister for Foreign Affairs, that 
those envoys would be received in proper form and treated 
with on terms of equality. Mr. Murray was directed at the 
same time to have no further informal communications with 
any French agent. 

Mr. Henry declined to accept his appointment, on account 
of ill health, and Mr. William Richardson Davie was ulti- 
mately substituted for him. 

Throughout succeeding months, Washington continued 
to superintend from a distance the concerns of the army, 
as his ample and minute correspondence manifests ; and he 
was at the same time earnestly endeavoring to bring the 
affairs of his rural domain into order. A sixteen years' 
absence from home, with short intervals, had, he said, de- 
ranged them considerably, so that it required all the time 
he could spare from the usual avocations of life to bring 
them into tune again. It was a period of incessant activity 
and toil, therefore, both mental and bodily. He was for 

Cife of U/asl?ir}<$tor> 389 

hours in his study occupied with his pen, and for hours on 
horseback, riding the rounds of his extensive estate, visiting 
the various farms, and superintending and directing the 
works in operation. All this he did with unfailing vigor, 
though now in his sixty-seventh year. 

Occasional reports of the sanguinary conflict that was 
going on in Europe would reach him in the quiet groves of 
Mount Vernon, and awaken his solicitude. "A more de- 
structive sword," said he, "was never drawn, at least in 
modern times, than this war has produced. It is time 
to sheathe it and give peace to mankind."* 

Amid this strife and turmoil of the nations, he felt re- 
doubled anxiety about the success of the mission to France. 
The great successes of the allies combined against that power; 
the changes in the Directory, and the rapidity with which 
everything seemed verging toward a restoration of the mon- 
archy, induced some members of the cabinet to advise a 
suspension of the mission; but Mr. Adams was not to be 
convinced or persuaded. Having furnished the commis- 
sioners with their instructions, he gave his final order for 
their departure, and they sailed in a frigate from Rhode 
Island on the 3d of November. 

A private letter written by "Washington shortly afterward 
to the Secretary of "War bespeaks his apprehensions: "I have 
for some time past viewed the political concerns of the United 
States with an anxious and painful eye. They appear to me 
to be moving by hasty strides to a crisis ; but in what it will 
result, that Being, who sees, foresees, and directs all things, 
alone can tell. The vessel is afloat, or very nearly so, and 
considering myself as a passenger only, I shall trust to the 

* Letter to "William Vans Murray. 

o$0 U/or^s of \JJa&tyr)QtOT) Iruio$ 

mariners (whose duty it is to watch) to steei it into a Safe 

His latest concern about the army was to give instruc- 
tions for hutting the troops according to an idea originally 
suggested by Hamilton, and adopted in the Revolutionary 

" Although I had determined to take no charge of any 
military operations," writes he, " unless the troops should 
be called into the field, yet, under the present circumstances, 
and considering that the advanced season of the year will 
admit of no delay in providing winter quarters for the troops, 
I have willingly given my aid in that business, and shall 
never decline any assistance in my power, when necessary , 
to promote the good of the service." * 


Washington digests a Plan for the Management of his Estate— His 
views in regard to a Military Academy — Letter to Hamilton — 
His Last Hours — The Funeral — The Will — Its Provisions in re- 
gard to his Slaves— Proceedings of Congress on his Death— Con- 

"Winter had now set in, with occasional wind and rain 
and frost, yet Washington still kept up his active round of 
indoor and outdoor avocations, as his diary records. He 
was in full health and vigor, dined out occasionally, and 
had frequent guests at Mount Vernon, and, as usual, was 
part of every day in the saddle, going the rounds of his 
estates, and, in his military phraseology, "visiting the out- 

* Washington's Writings, xi. 463. 

Cife of \JJastyi)$tOT) 391 

He had recently walked with his favorite nephew about 
the grounds, showing the improvements he intended to 
make, and had especially pointed out the spot where he 
purposed building a new family vault; the old one being 
damaged by the roots of trees which had overgrown it and 
caused it to leak. "This change," said he, "I shall make 
the first of all, for I may require it before the rest." 

' c When I parted from him," adds the nephew, "he stood 
on the steps of the front door, where he took leave of myself 
and another. ... It was a bright frosty morning ; he had 
taken his usual ride, and the clear, healthy flush on his 
cheek, and his sprightly manner, brought the remark from 
both of us that we had never seen the General look so well. 
I have sometimes thought him decidedly the handsomest 
man I ever saw ; and when in a lively mood, so full of pleas- 
antry, so agreeable to all with whom he associated, that 
I could hardly realize he was the same Washington whose 
dignity awed all who approached him."* 

For some time past Washington had been occupied in 
digesting a complete system on which his estate was to be 
managed for several succeeding years; specifying the culti- 
vation of the several farms, with tables designating the rota- 
tions of the crops. It occupied thirty folio pages, and was 
executed with that clearness and method which character- 
ized all his business papers. This was finished on the 10th 
of December, and was accompanied by a letter of that date 
to his manager or steward. It is a valuable document, show- 
ing the soundness and vigor of his intellect at this advanced 
stage of his existence, and the love of order that reigned 
throughout his affairs. "My greatest anxiety," said he on 

* Paulding's Life of Washington, vol. ii., p. 196. 

392 U/orl^s of U/asl?ir}$tOQ IruiQ<$ 

a previous occasion, "is to have all these concerns in such 
a clear and distinct form, that no reproach may attach itself 
to me when I have taken my departure for the land of 
spirits." * 

It was evident, however, that, full of health and vigor, 
he looked forward to his long-cherished hope, the enjoyment 
of a serene old age in this home of his heart. 

According to his diary, the morning on which these vo- 
luminous instructions to his steward were dated was clear 
and calm, but the afternoon was lowering. The next day 
(11th) he notes that there was wind and rain, and "at night 
a large circle round the moon." 

The morning of the 12th was overcast. That morning 
he wrote a letter to Hamilton, heartily approving of a plan 
for a military academy, which the latter had submitted to 
the Secretary of War. "The establishment of an institution 
of this kind upon a respectable and extensive basis," observes 
he, "has ever been considered by me an object of primary 
importance to this country; and while I was in the chair 
of government I omitted no proper opportunity of recom- 
mending it, in my public speeches and otherwise, to the 
attention of the legislature. But I never undertook to go 
into a detail of the organization of such an academy, leaving 
this task to others, whose pursuit in the path of science and 
attention to the arrangement of such institutions had better 
qualified them for the execution of it. . . . I sincerely hope 
that the subject will meet with due attention, and that the 
reasons for its establishment, which you have clearly pointed 
out in your letter to the Secretary, will prevail upon the 
legislature to place it upon a permanent and respectable 

* Letter to James McHenry. Writings, xi. 407. 

Cife of U/as^ip<$tor> 393 

footing. 9 ' He closes his letter with an assurance of " very- 
great esteem and regard," the last words he was ever to 
address to Hamilton. About ten o'clock he mounted his 
horse, and rode out as usual to make the rounds of the 
estate. The ominous ring round the moon, which he had 
observed on the preceding night, proved a fatal portent. 
" About one o'clock," he notes, "it began to snow, soon 
after to hail, and then turned to a settled cold rain." Hav- 
ing on an overcoat, he continued his ride without regarding 
the weather, and did not return to the house until after 

His secretary approached him with letters to be franked, 
that they might be taken to the post-office in the evening. 
Washington franked the letters, but observed that the 
weather was too bad to send a servant out with them. 
Mr. Lear perceived that snow was hanging from his hair, 
and expressed fears that he had got wet; but he replied, 
"No, his greatcoat had kept him dry." As dinner had 
been waiting for him he sat down to table without chang- 
ing his dress. "In the evening," writes his secretary, 
"he appeared as well as usual." 

On the following morning the snow was three inches 
deep and still falling, which prevented him from taking his 
usual ride. He complained of a sore throat, and had evi- 
dently taken cold the day before. In the afternoon the 
weather cleared up, and he went out on the grounds between 
the house and the river, to mark some trees which were to 
be cut down. A hoarseness which had hung about him 
through the day grew worse toward night, but he made 
light of it. 

He was very cheerful in the evening, as he sat in the 
parlor with Mrs. "Washington and Mr. Lear, amusing him- 

394 U/orl^s of U/asbii^toi) Iruip^ 

self with the papers which had been brought from the post- 
office. "When he met with anything interesting or entertain- 
ing, he would read it aloud as well as his hoarseness would 
permit, or he listened and made occasional comments while 
Mr. Lear read the debates of the Virginia assembly. 

On retiring to bed, Mr. Lear suggested that he should 
take something to relieve the cold. "No," replied he, "you 
know I never take anything for a cold. Let it go as it 

In the night he was taken extremely ill with ague and 
difficulty of breathing. Between two and three o'clock in 
the morning he awoke Mrs. Washington, who would have 
risen to call a servant ; but he would not permit her, lest she 
should take cold. At daybreak, when the servant woman 
entered to make a fire, she was sent to call Mr. Lear. He 
found the general breathing with difficulty, and hardly able 
to utter a word intelligibly. Washington desired that Dr. 
Craik, who lived in Alexandria, should be sent for, and 
that in the meantime Rawlins, one of the overseers, should 
be summoned, to bleed him before the doctor could arrive. 

A gargle was prepared for his throat, but whenever he 
attempted to swallow any of it he was convulsed and almost 
suffocated. Rawlins made his appearance soon after sun- 
rise, but when the general's arm was ready for the operation 
became agitated. "Don't be afraid," said the general, as 
well as he could speak. Rawlins made an incision. "The 
orifice is not large enough," said "Washington. The blood, 
however, ran pretty freely and Mrs. Washington, uncertain 
whether the treatment was proper, and fearful that too much 
blood might be taken, begged Mr. Lear to stop it. "When 
he was about to untie the string, the general put up his hand 
to prevent him, and as soon as he could speak, murmured, 

Cife of U/astyir^top 395 

"More — more;" but Mrs. Washington's doubts prevailed, 
and the bleeding was stopped, after about half a pint of 
blood had been taken. External applications were now 
made to the throat, and his feet were bathed in warm water, 
but without affording any relief. 

His old friend, Dr. Craik, arrived between eight and 
nine, and two other physicians, Drs. Dick and Brown, were 
called in. Various remedies were tried, and additional 
bleeding, but all of no avail. 

''About half- past four o'clock," writes Mr. Lear, "he 
desired me to call Mrs. "Washington to his bedside, when 
he requested her to go down into his room and take from 
his desk two wills, which she would find there, and bring 
them to him, which she did. Upon looking at them, he 
gave her one, which he observed was useless, as being super- 
seded by the other, and desired her to burn it, which she did, 
and took the other and put it into her closet. 

"After this was done, I returned to his bedside and took 
his hand. He said to me: 'I find I am going, my breath 
cannot last long. I believed from the first that the disorder 
would prove fatal. Do you arrange and record all my late 
military letters and papers. Arrange my accounts and 
settle my books, as you know more about them than any 
one else; and let Mr. Rawlins finish recording my other 
letters which he has begun. ' I told him this should be done. 
He then asked if I recollected anything which it was essen- 
tial for him to do, as he had but a very short time to con- 
tinue with us. I told him that I could recollect nothing; 
but that I hoped he was not so near his end. He observed, 
smiling, that he certainly was, and that, as it was the debt 
which we must all pay, he looked to the event with perfect 

396 U/or^s of U/asr;io<$tor; Iruipo; 

In the course of the afternoon he appeared to be in great 
pain and distress from the difficulty of breathing, and fre- 
quently changed his posture in the bed. Mr. Lear endeav- 
ored to raise him and turn him with as much ease as pos- 
sible. "I am afraid I fatigue you too much," the general 
would say. Upon being assured to the contrary, "Well," 
observed he gratefully, "it is a debt we must pay to each 
other, and I hope when you want aid of this kind you will 
find it." 

His servant, Christopher, had been in the room during 
the day, and almost the whole time on his teet. The gen- 
eral noticed it in the afternoon, and kindly told him to sit 

About five o'clock his old friend, Dr. Craik, came again 
into the room, and approached the bedside. "Doctor," said 
the general, "I die hard, but I am not afraid to go. I be- 
lieved, from my first attack, that I should not survive it — 
my breath cannot last long." The doctor pressed his hand 
in silence, retired from the bedside, and sat by the fire 
absorbed in grief. 

Between five and six the other physicians came in, and 
he was assisted to sit up in his bed. "I feel I am going," 
said he ; "1 thank you for your attentions, but I pray you 
to take no more trouble about me; let me go off quietly; 
I cannot last long." He lay down again; all retired except- 
ing Dr. Craik. The general continued uneasy and restless, 
but without complaining, frequently asking what hour 
it was. 

Further remedies were tried without avail in the even- 
ing. He took whatever was offered to him, did as he was 
desired by the physicians, and never uttered sigh or com- 


Irving, Vol. Fifteen, p. 398. 

Cife of U/ast?ii}<$toi> 397 

"About ten o'clock," writes Mr. Lear, "he made several 
attempts to speak to me before he could effect it. At length 
he said, 'I am just going. Have me decently buried, and 
do not let my body be put into the vault in less than three 
days after I am dead.' I bowed assent, for I could not 
speak. He then looked at me again, and said, 'Do you 
understand me?' I replied, 'Yes.' * 'Tis well,' said he. 

"About ten minutes before he expired (which was be- 
tween ten and eleven o'clock) his breathing became easier. 
He lay quietly; he withdrew his hand from mine and felt 
his own pulse. I saw his countenance change. I spoke to 
Dr. Craik, who sat by the fire. He came to the bedside. 
The general's hand fell from his wrist. I took it in mine 
and pressed it to my bosom. Dr. Craik put his hands over 
his eyes, and he expired without a struggle or a sigh. 

"While we were fixed in silent grief, Mrs. Washington, 
who was seated at the foot of the bed, asked with a firm and 
collected voice, 'Is he gone?' I could not speak, but held 
up my hand as a signal that he was no more. ' 'Tis well,' 
said she in the same voice. 'All is now over; I shall soon 
follow him; I have no more trials to pass through.' " 

We add from Mr. Lear's account a few particulars con- 
cerning the funeral. The old family vault on the estate had 
been opened, the rubbish cleared away, and a door made 
to close the entrance, which before had been closed with 
brick. The funeral took place on the 18th of December. 
About eleven o'clock the people of the neighborhood began 
to assemble. The corporation of Alexandria, with the militia 
and Free Masons of the place, and eleven pieces of cannon, 
arrived at a later hour. A schooner was stationed off Mount 
Vernon to fire minute guus. About three o'clock the pro- 
cession began to move, passing out through the gate at the 

398 U/or^g of U/asl?ir)$toi) Irvio$ 

left wing of the house, proceeding round in front of the lawn 
and down to the vault, on the right wing of the house; 
minute guns being fired at the time. The troops, horse and 
foot, formed the escort; then came four of the clergy. Then 
the general's horse, with his saddle, holsters and pistols, led 
by two grooms in black. The body was borne by the Free 
Masons and officers; several members of the family and old 
friends, among the number Dr. Craik, and some of the 
Fairfaxes, followed as chief mourners. The corporation 
of Alexandria and numerous private persons closed the 
procession. The Rev. Mr. Davis read the funeral service 
at the vault, and pronounced a short address; after which 
the Masons performed their ceremonies, and the body was 
deposited in the vault. 

Such were the obsequies of Washington, simple and mod- 
est, according to his own wishes; all confined to the grounds 
of Mount Vernon, which, after forming the poetical dream 
of his life, had now become his final resting-place. 

On opening the will which he had handed to Mrs. Wash- 
ington shortly before his death, it was found to have been 
carefully drawn up by himself in the preceding July; and 
by an act in conformity with his whole career, one of its first 
provisions directed the emancipation of his slaves on the 
decease of his wife. It had long been his earnest wish that 
the slaves held by him in his own right should receive their 
freedom during his life, but he had found that it would be 
attended with insuperable difficulties on account of their 
intermixture by marriage with the ' 'dower negroes," whom 
it was not in his power to manumit under the tenure by 
which they were held. 

"With provident benignity he also made provision in his 
will for such as were to receive their freedom under this 

Cife of U/asl?ir><5top 399 

devise, but who, from age, bodily infirmities, or infancy, 
might be unable to support themselves, and he expressly 
forbade, under any pretense whatsoever, the sale or trans- 
portation out of Virginia, of any slave of whom he might 
die possessed. Though born and educated a slaveholder, 
this was all in consonance with feelings, sentiments and 
principles which he had long entertained. 

Tn a letter to Mr. John F. Mercer, in September, 1786, 
he writes: "I never mean, unless some particular circum- 
stances should compel me to it, to possess another slave by 
purchase, it being among my first wishes to see some plan 
adopted by which slavery in this country may be abolished 
bylaw." And eleven years afterward, in August, 1797, 
he writes to his nephew, Lawrence Lewis, in a letter which 
we have had in our hands, "I wish from my soul that the 
Legislature of this State could see the policy of a gradual 
abolition of slavery. It might prevent much future mis- 

A deep sorrow spread over the nation on hearing that 
Washington was no more. Congress, which was in session, 
immediately adjourned for the day. The next morning it 
was resolved that the Speaker's chair be shrouded with 
black:; that the members and officers of the House wear 
black during the session, and that a joint committee of both 
Houses be appointed to consider on the most suitable manner 
of doing honor to the memory of the man, " first in war, first 
in peace, and first in the hearts of his fellow-citizens." 

Public testimonials of grief and reverence were displa} 7 ed 
in every part of the Union. Nor were these sentiments 
confined to the United States. When the news of Wash- 
ington's death reached England, Lord Bridport, who had 
command of a British fleet of nearly sixty sail of the line, 

400 U/orl^s of lI/asl?ir?<2tor> Iruir>^ 

lying at Torbay, lowered his flag half-mast, every ship 
following the example; and Bonaparte, First Consul of 
France, on announcing his death to the army, ordered that 
black crape should be suspended from all the standards and 
flags, throughout the public service, for ten days. 

In the preceding parts of our work we have traced the 
career of Washington from early boyhood to his elevation 
to the Presidential chair. It was an elevation he had neither 
sought nor wished ; for when the independence of his country 
was achieved, the modest and cherished desire of his heart 
had been "to live and die a private citizen on his own 
farm"; * and he had shaped out for himself an ideal elysium 
in his beloved shades of Mount Vernon. But power sought 
him in his retirement. The weight and influence of his 
name and character were deemed all essential to complete 
his work; to set the new government in motion, and conduct 
it through its first perils and trials. With unfeigned reluc- 
tance he complied with the imperative claims of his country, 
and accepted the power thus urged upon him: advancing 
to its exercise with diffidence, and aiming to surround him- 
self with men of the highest talent and information whom 
he might consult in emergency ; but firm and strong in the 
resolve in all things to act as his conscience told him was 
"right as it respected his God, his country, and himself. " 
For he knew no divided fidelity, no separate obligation; his 
most sacred duty to himself was his highest duty to nis 
country and his God. 

In treating of his civil administration in this closing part, 
we have endeavored to show how truly he adhered to this 

* Writings, ix., p. 412. 

Cife of U/a8t?ir)<$toi) 401 

resolve, and with what inflexible integrity and scrupulous 
regard to the public weal he discharged his functions. In 
executing our task, we have not indulged in discussions of 
temporary questions of controverted policy which agitated 
the incipient establishment of our government, but have 
given his words and actions as connected with those ques- 
tions, and as illustrative of his character. In this part, as 
in those which treat of his military career, we have avoided 
rhetorical amplification and embellishments, and all gratui- 
tous assumptions, and have sought, by simple and truthful 
details, to give his character an opportunity of developing 
itself, and of manifesting those fixed principles and that 
noble consistency which reigned alike throughout his civil 
and his military career. 

The character of Washington may want some of those 
poetical elements which dazzle and delight the multitude, 
but it possessed fewer inequalities, and a rarer union of 
virtues than perhaps ever fell to the lot of one man. Pru- 
dence, firmness, sagacity, moderation, an overruling judg- 
ment, an immovable justice, courage that never faltered, 
patience that never wearied, truth that disdained all artifice, 
magnanimity without alloy. It seems as if Providence had 
endowed him in a pre-eminent degree with the qualities 
requisite to fit him for the high destiny he was called upon 
to fulfill — to conduct a momentous revolution which was 
to form an era in the history of the world, and to inaugurate 
a new and untried government, which, to use his own words, 
was to lay the foundation "for the enjoyment of much purer 
civil liberty, and greater public happiness, than have hitherto 
been the portion of mankind." 

The fame of "Washington stands apart from every other 
in history ; shining with a truer luster and a more benignant 

402 U/orl^s of U/asfyir^tor) Irvrt)$ 

glory. "With us his memory remains a national property, 
where all sympathies throughout our widely extended and 
diversified empire meet in unison. Under all dissensions 
and amid all the storms of party, his precepts and example 
speak to us from the grave with a paternal appeal ; and his 
name — by all revered — forms a universal tie of brotherhood 
— a watchword of our Union. 

"It will be the duty of the historian and the sage of 
all nations,' ' writes an eminent British statesman (Lord 
Brougham), "to let no occasion pass of commemorating 
this illustrious man; and until time shall be no more 
will a test of the progress which our race has made in 
wisdom and virtue be derived from the veneration paid to 
the immortal name of Washington." 



[The following notices of the various representations of Washington, 
which have been prepared by the publisher for the illustrated 
edition of this work, are kindly furnished by Mr. H. T. Tucker- 
MAN, from a volume which he has now in press.] 

The earliest portraits of Washington are more interest- 
ing, perhaps, as memorials than as works of art; and we 
can easily imagine that associations endeared them to his old 
comrades. The dress (blue coat, scarlet facings, and under- 
clothes) of the first portrait, by Peale, and the youthful face, 
make it suggestive of the first experience of the future com- 
mander, when, exchanging the surveyor's implements for 
the colonel's commission, he bivouacked in the wilderness 
of Ohio, the leader of a motley band of hunters, provincials, 
and savages, to confront wily Frenchmen, cut forest roads, 
and encounter all the perils of Indian ambush, inclement 
skies, undisciplined followers, famine, and woodland skir- 
mish. It recalls his calm authority and providential escape 
amid the dismay of Braddock's defeat, and his pleasant 
sensation at the first whistling of bullets in the weary march 
to Fort Necessity. To Charles Wilson Peale we owe 
this precious relic of the chieftain's youth. His own career 
partook of the vicissitudes and was impressed with the spirit 
of the Revolutionary era ; a captain of volunteers at the battles 
of Trenton and Germantown, and a State representative of 
Pennsylvania, a favorite pupil of "West, an ingenious mecha* 


404 U/orl^s of U/a8l?io<$l:oi) Irving 

nician, and a warrior, he always cherished the instinct and 
the faculty for art; and even amid the bustle and duties 
of the camp, never failed to seize auspicious intervals of 
leisure to depict his brother officers. This portrait was 
executed in 1772, and is now at Arlington House. 

The resolution of Congress, by which a portrait by this 
artist was ordered, was passed before the occupation of 
Philadelphia. Its progress marks the vicissitudes of the 
Revolutionary struggle; commenced in the gloomy winter 
and half -famished encampment at Valley Forge, in 1778, 
the battles of Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth intervened 
before its completion. At the last place Washington sug- 
gested that the view from the window of the farmhouse 
opposite to which he was sitting would form a desirable 
background. Peale adopted the idea, and represented Mon- 
mouth Court-house and a party of Hessians under guard, 
marching out of it.* The picture was finished at Princeton, 
and Nassau Hall is a prominent object in the background; 
but Congress adjourned without making an appropriation, 
and it remained in the artist's hands. Lafayette desired 
a copy for the king of France ; and Peale executed one in 
1779, which was sent to Paris: but the misfortunes of the 
royal family occasioned its sale, and it became the property 
of the Count de Menou, who brought it again to this country, 
and presented it to the National Institute, where it is now 
preserved. Chapman made two copies at a thousand dollars 
each; and Dr. Craik, one of the earliest and warmest per- 
sonal friends of Washington, their commissions as officers 
in the French War having been signed on the same day 
(1754), declared it a most faithful likeness of him as he 
appeared in the prime of his life, f 

* MS. Letter of Titian R. Peale to George Livermore, 

f Philadelphia, Feb. 4. — His Excellency General 
Washington set off from this city to join the army in New 
Jersey. During the course of his short stay, the only relief 
he has enjoyed from service since he first entered it, he has 

Cife of U/as^ir)<$top 405 

There is a tradition in the Peale family, honorably rep- 
resented through several generations, by public spirit and 
artistic gifts, that intelligence of one of the most important 
triumphs of the American arms was received by Washington 
in a dispatch he opened while sitting to "Wilson Peale for 
a miniature intended for his wife, who was also present. 
The scene occurred one fine summer afternoon; and there 
is something attractive to the fancy in the association of this 
group quietly occupied in one of the most beautiful of the 
arts of peace, and in a commemorative act destined to gratify 
conjugal love and a nation's pride, with the progress of a 
war and the announcement of a victory fraught with that 
nation's liberty and that leader's eternal renown. 

The characteristic traits of Peale's portraits of Washing- 
ton now at the National Institute and Arlington House, and 
the era of our history and of Washington's life they embalm, 
make them doubly valuable in a series of pictorial illustra- 
tions, each of which, independent of the degree of profes* 
sional skill exhibited, is essential to our Washingtonian gal* 
lery. Before Trumbull and Stuart had caught from the living 
man his aspect in maturity and age, the form knit to athletic 
proportions by self-denial and activity, and clad in the garb 
of rank and war, and the countenance open with truth and 
grave with thought, yet rounded with the contour and ruddy 
with the glow of early manhood, was thus genially deline- 
ated by the hand of a comrade, and in the infancy of native 

been honored with every mark of esteem, etc. The Council 
of this State, being desirous of having his picture in full 
length, requested his sitting for that purpose, which he 
politely complied with, and a striking likeness was taken 
by Mr. Peale, of this city. The portrait is to be placed in 
the council chamber. Don Juan Marrailes, the Minister 
of France, has ordered five copies, four of which, we hear, 
are to be sent abroad. — "Penn. Packet," Feb. 11, 1779. 
Peale's first portrait was executed for Colonel Alexander; 
his last is now in the Bryan Gallery, New York. He painted 
one in 1776 for John Hancock, and besides that for New 
Jersey, others for Pennsylvania and Maryland. 

406 U/orl^s of U/asl?ir)$toi) Iruio$ 

art. Of the fourteen portraits by Peale, that exhibiting 
Washington as a Virginia colonel in the colonial force of 
Great Britain is the only entire portrait before the Revolution 
extant.* One was painted for the College of New Jersey, 
at Princeton, in 1780, to occupy a frame in which the por- 
trait of George the Third had been destroyed by a cannon 
ball during the battle at that place on the 3d of January, 
1777. It still remains in the possession of the College, and 
was saved fortunately from the fire which a few years ago 
consumed Nassau Hall. Peale's last portrait of "Washington, 
executed in 1783, he retained until his death, and two years 
since it was sold with the rest of the collection known as the 
*' Peale Gallery," at Philadelphia. There is a pencil sketch 
also by this artist, framed with the wood of the tree in front 
of the famous Chew's house, around which centered the 
battle of Germantown.f 

A few octogenarians in the city of brotherly love used 
to speak, not many years since, of a diminutive family, the 
head of which manifested the sensitive temperament, if not 
the highest capabilities of artistic genius. This was Robert 
Edge Pine. He brought to America the earliest cast of the 
Venus de Medici, which was privately exhibited to the select 
few — the manners and morals of the Quaker city forbidding 
its exposure to the common eye. He was considered a 
superior colorist, and was favorably introduced into society 
in Philadelphia by his acknowledged sympathy for the 
American cause, and by a grand project such as was after- 

* A miniature, said to have been painted in 1757, at the 
age of twenty-five, has been engraved for lrving's Wash- 

f "The Editor of the 'Cincinnati Enquirer' was lately 
shown a pencil sketch of General Washington, taken from 
life by Charles Wilson Peale, in the year 1777. It was 
framed from a part of the elm-tree then standing in front 
of Chew's house, on the German town battleground, and the 
frame was made by a son of Dr. Craley, of Revolutionary 

Cife of U/asfyii}<$toi) 407 

ward partially realized by Trumbull; that of a series of 
historical paintings, illustrative of the American Revolution, 
to embrace original portraits of the leaders, both civil and 
military, in that achievement, including the statesmen who 
were chiefly instrumental in framing the constitution and 
organizing the government. He brought a letter of intro- 
duction to the father of the late Judge Hopkinson, whose 
portrait he executed, and its vivid tints and correct resem- 
blance still attest to his descendants the ability of the painter. 
He left behind him in London creditable portraits of George 
the Second, Garrick, and the Duke of Northumberland. In 
the intervals of his business as a teacher of drawing and a 
votary of portraiture in general, he collected, from time to 
time, a large number of " distinguished heads," although, 
as in the case of Ceracchi, the epoch and country were un- 
favorable to his ambitious project; of these portraits the 
heads of General Gates, Charles Carroll, Baron Steuben, and 
"Washington are the best known and most highly prized. 
Pine remained three weeks at Mount Vernon, and his por- 
trait bequeaths some features with great accuracy; artists 
find in it certain merits not discoverable in those of a later 
date ; it has the permanent interest of a representation from 
life, by a painter of established reputation; yet its tone is 
cold and its effect unimpressive, beside the more bold and 
glowing pencil of Stuart. It has repose and dignity. In 
his letter to Washington, asking his co-operation in the 
design he meditated, Pine says, "I have been some time 
at Annapolis, painting the portraits of patriots, legislators, 
heroes, and beauties, in order to adorn my large picture;" 
and he seems to have commenced his enterprise with san- 
guine hopes of one day accomplishing his object, which, 
however, it was reserved for a native artist eventually to 
complete. That his appeal to Washington was not neglected, 
however, is evident from an encouraging allusion to Pine 
and his scheme, in the correspondence of the former. "Mr. 
Pine," he says, "has met a favorable reception in this coun- 
try, and may, I conceive, command as much business as he 

408 U/or^s of U/a8l?io<$too !ruir)$ 

pleases. He is now preparing materials for historical repre* 
sentations of the most important events of the war. ! ' * Pine's 
picture is in the possession of the Hopkinson family of Phila- 
delphia. The facsimile of Washington's letter proves that 
it was taken in 1785. A large copy was purchased at Mont- 
real, in 1817, by the late Henry Brevoort, of New York, 
and is now in the possession of his son, J. Carson Brevoort, 
at Bedford, L. I.f 

The profile likeness of Washington by Sharpless is a 
valuable item of the legacy which Art has bequeathed of 
those noble and benign features ; he evidently bestowed upon 
it his greatest skill, and there is no more correct facial out- 
line of the immortal subject in existence; a disciple of 
Lavater would probably find it the most available side-view 
for physiognomical inference; it is remarkably adapted to 
the burin, and has been once, at least, adequately engraved; 
it also has the melancholy attraction of being the last portrait 
of Washington taken from life. 

One of Canova's fellow-workmen, in the first years of 
his artistic life, was a melancholy enthusiast, whose thirst 
for the ideal was deepened by a morbid tenacity of purpose 
and sensitiveness of heart — a form of character peculiar in 
Italy ; in its voluptuous phase illustrated by Petrarch, in its 
stoical by Alfieri, and in its combination of patriotic and 
tender sentiments by Foscolo's "Letters of Jacopo Ortis." 
The political confusion that reigned in Europe for a time 
seriously interfered with the pursuit of art; and this was 
doubtless a great * motive with Giuseppe Ceracchi for 
visiting America; but not less inciting was the triumph of 
freedom, of which that land had recently become the scene 
— a triumph that so enlisted the sympathies and fired the 
imagination of the republican sculptor, that he designed a 
grand national monument, commemorative of American In- 

* Sparks' Writings of Washington. 

f This portrait is now in the engraver's hands for the 
illustrated edition of this work. 

Cffe of U/a8^ir)<$tor) 409 

dependence, and sought the patronage of the newly organ- 
ized government in its behalf. Washington, individually, 
favored his design, and the model of the proposed work 
received the warm approval of competent judges; but taste 
for art, especially for grand monumental statuary, was quite 
undeveloped on this side of the Atlantic, and the recipient 
of papal orders found little encouragement in a young re- 
public, too busy in laying the foundation of her civil polity 
to give much thought to any memorials of her nascent glory. 
It was, however, but a question of time. His purpose is 
even now in the process of achievement. Washington's 
native State voluntarily undertook the enterprise for which 
the general government, in its youth, was inadequate; and 
it was auspiciously reserved for a native artist, and a single 
member of the original confederacy, to embody, in a style 
worthy of more than Italian genius, the grand conception 
of a representative monument, with Washington in a colossal 
equestrian statue as the center, and the Virginia patriots and 
orators of the Revolution grouped around his majestic figure. 
Cerrachi, however, in aid of his elaborate project, executed 
the only series of marble portraitures from life of the re- 
nowned founders of the national government; his busts 
of Hamilton, Jay, Trumbull, and Governor George Clinton, 
were long the prominent ornaments of the Academy of Fine 
Arts, in New York; the latter, especially, was remarkable, 
both in regard to its resemblance to the original and as a 
work of art. His most important achievement, however, 
was a bust of Washington, generally considered the most 
perfect representation _pf the man and the hero combined, 
after Stuart's and Houdon's masterpieces. It is in the heroic 
style, with a fillet. The fate of this valuable effigy was 
singular. It was purchased by the Spanish embassador, 
as a gift to the Prince of Peace, then at the height of his 
power at Madrid; before the bust reached Spain, Godoy 
was exiled, and the minister recalled, who, on his arrival, 
transferred it, unpacked, to Richard Meade, Esq., of Phila- 
delphia, in whose family it remained until two years ago, 

Vol. XV.—* * * 18 

410 U/or^s of U/as^ip^top Irving 

when, at the administrators' sale of that gentleman's fine 
collection of paintings, it was purchased by Gouverneur 
Kemble, and can now be seen at his hospitable mansion, 
on the banks of the Hudson. 

The zeal of Cerrachi in his cherished purpose is indicated 
by the assurance he gave Dr. Hugh Williamson — the his- 
torian of North Carolina, and author of the earliest work 
on the American climate, and one of the first advocates of 
the canal policy — when inviting him to sit for his bust, that 
he did not pay him the compliment in order to secure his 
vote for the national monument, but only to perpetuate the 
"features of the American Cato." "With characteristic em- 
phasis, the honest doctor declined, on the ground that pos- 
terity would not care for his lineaments; adding that, "if he 
were capable of being lured into the support of any scheme 
whatever, against his convictions of right, wood, and not 
stone, ought to be the material of his image."* 

Baffled, as Ceracchi ultimately was, in the realization 
of hopes inspired alike by his ambition as a sculptor and his 
love of republican institutions, he carried to Europe the proud 
distinction of having taken the initiative in giving an endur- 
ing shape to the revered and then unfamiliar features of 
"Washington. He executed two busts, one colossal, a cast 
of which was long in the New York Academy of Fine Arts. 
Impoverished, the darling scheme of his life frustrated in 
America, and his own patriotic hopes crushed by the victories 
of Bonaparte in Italy, and his rapid advances toward imperial 
sway, the enthusiastic artist brooded, with intense disap- 
pointment, over the contrast between the fresh and exuberant 
national life of which he had partaken here, and the vassal- 
age to which Europe was again reduced. Napoleon and 
Washington stood revealed, as it were, side by side — the 
selfish aggrandizement of the one, who trampled on humanity 
under the prestige of military fame, and the magnanimity 
of the other, content to be the immaculate agent of a free 

* Dr. Hosack's Essays. 

Cife of U/asl?ii?<$t:or? 411 

people, after sacrificing all for their welfare. Imbued with 
the principles and a witness of the self-control which con- 
summated our Revolutionary triumph, Ceracchi beheld, with 
an impatience that caution only restrained, the steady and 
unscrupulous encroachment of Bonaparte on all that is 
sacred in nationality and freedom. Somewhat of the deep 
indignation and the sacrificial will that nerved the hand of 
Charlotte Corday, somewhat of the fanaticism that moved 
the student-assassin of Kotzebue, and, perhaps, a little of 
the vengeful ire of Ravaillac, at length kindled the Italian 
blood of the sculptor. He became one of the most deter- 
mined secret conspirators against the now established usurper. 
The memoirs of the time speak of his " exaggerated notions," 
his disdain of life, of the profound gloom that often clouded 
his soul, of the tears he alternately shed of admiration at 
the brilliant exploits of the conqueror, and of grief at the 
wrongs inflicted on the beautiful land of his nativity. "This 
man," says one fair chronicler of those exciting times, "has 
a soul of fire. ' ' A plot, which is stigmatized as nefarious, 
and, according to rumor, was of the Fieschi stamp, aimed 
at the life of Bonaparte, when First Consul, was finally dis- 
covered, and Ceracchi became legally compromised as one 
of those pledged to its execution. He was tried, boldly 
acknowledged his murderous intention, and was condemned 
to death. Among his fellow-conspirators were two or three 
republican artists with whom he had become intimate at 
Rome; they were arrested at the opera, and daggers found 
upon their persons: the plot is designated in the annals of 
the time as the Arena Conspiracy. Ceracchi was a Corsican 
by birth; and, from an ardent admirer, thus became the 
deadly foe of his great countryman ; and the gifted artist, 
the enthusiastic republican, the vindictive patriot, and the 
sculptor of Washington — perished on the scaffold. 

His bust gives Washington a Roman look, but has been 
declared to exhibit more truly the expression of the mouth 
than any other work. Those of Hamilton and Governor 
Clinton, by this artist, are deemed, by their respective fam- 

412 U/or^s of U/a8l?ir)<$tor) Irvioo" 

ilies, as correct as portraits, as they are superior as pieces 
of statuary. And this is presumptive evidence in favor 
of the belief that Ceracchi's attachment to the heroic style 
did not seriously interfere with the general truth of his por- 

The design of a statue was, therefore, only realized on 
the arrival of Houdon. The history of this sculptor is a 
striking contrast to that of Ceracchi. A native of Versailles, 
he flourished at an epoch remarkably prolific of original 
characters in all departments of letters and art. Many of 
these, especially his own countrymen, have been represented 
by his chisel. He enjoyed a long and prosperous existence, 
having survived the taste he initiated, and the friends of his 
youth, but maintaining a most creditable reputation to his 
death, which occurred in his eighty-eighth year. He rose 
to distinction by a new style, which appears to have exhibited, 
according to the subject, a remarkable simplicity on the one 
hand, and elaboration on the other. An overestimate of the 
effect of details marred his more labored creations; but he 
had a faculty of catching the air, and a taste in generalizing 
the conception, both of a real and fanciful subject, which 
manifested unusual genius. There was an individuality 
about his best works that won attention and established his 
fame. Of the ideal kind, two were the subjects of much 
critical remark, though for different reasons. One of them 
was intended to exhibit the effect of cold — an idea almost 
too melodramatic and physical for sculpture, but quite in 
character for a Frenchman, aiming, even in his severe and 
limited art, at theatrical effect. The other was a statue of 
Diana — the object of numerous bon mots, first, because it 
was ordered by Catharine of Russia, who, it was generally 
thought, had no special affinity with the chaste goddess; 
and, secondly, on account of the voluptuous character given 
it by the artist, which procured for his Diana the name of 
Venus. Houdon's bust of Voltaire gained him renown at 
once in this department of his pursuit, and is a memorable 
example of his success. How various the characters whose 

Cife of U/asl?ir)<$toi> 413 

similitudes are perpetuated by his chisel — Gluck and Buffon, 
Rousseau and D'Alembert, Mirabeau and "Washington! 
Jefferson, in behalf of the State of Virginia, arranged with 
Houdon at Paris to undertake the latter commission; and 
he accompanied Dr. Franklin to the United States. He 
remained at Mount Vernon long enough to execute a model 
of Washington's head, and familiarize himself with every 
detail of his features and the traits of his natural language ; 
but that implicit fidelity, now evident in the busts of our 
own leading sculptors, was not then in vogue, and the 
artists of the day were rather adepts in idealizing than in 
precise imitation of nature ; therefore, the result of Houdon's 
labors, though, in general, satisfactory, cannot be used with 
the mathematical exactitude, as a guide, which greater atten- 
tion to minutiae would have secured. There is a sketch by 
Stuart indicating some minute errors in the outline of Hou- 
don's bust. On leaving, he presented Washington with the 
bass-relief which used to hang over his chair in the library 
at Mount Vernon. He completed the statue after his return 
to Paris, and in the diary of Gouverneur Morris is an entry 
noting his attendance at the artist's studio, to stand for the 
figure of his illustrious friend, whom, before he became 
corpulent, he is said to have resembled. He alludes to the 
circumstance as "being the humble employment of a manni- 
kin;" and adds, "this is literally taking the advice of St. 
Paul to be all things to all men." The original cast of the 
head of this statue is still at Mount Vernon, and the statue 
itself is the cherished ornament of the Capitol at Richmond, 
and has been declared, by one of Washington's biographers, 
to be "as perfect a resemblance, in face and figure, as the 
art admits"; while, on the other hand, a critic of large and 
studious observation, who was well acquainted with the 
appearance of the original, says that, as a likeness, the head 
is inferior to Ceracchi's bust. The costume is authentic, 
that Washington wore as commander-in-chief; it has been 
assailed with the usual arguments — its want of classical 
effect, and its undignified style; but less conservative rea- 

414 U/orl^s of U/ast?io$tor; Iruir>^ 

soners applaud the truth of the drapery, and the work 18 
endeared as a faithful and unique representation of the man 
—the only one from life, bequeathed by the art of the sculp- 
tor. "Judge Marshall," says Dr. Sparks in a letter to us, 
"once told me that the head of Houdon's statue at Rich- 
mond, seen at a point somewhat removed toward the side, 
from the front, presented as perfect a resemblance of the 
living man as he could conceive possible in marble." 

Rembrandt Peale, when quite young, became the com- 
panion of his father's artistic labors. In compliment to the 
latter, Washington sat for a likeness to the novice of eigh- 
teen, who says the honor agitated more than it inspired him, 
and he solicited his father's intercession and countenance 
on the memorable occasion. Of the precise value of his 
original sketch it is difficult to form an accurate opinion, 
but the mature result of his efforts to produce a portrait of 
Washington has attained a high and permanent fame. He 
availed himself of the best remembered points, and always 
worked with Houdon's bust before him. This celebrated 
picture is the favorite portrait of a large number of ama- 
teurs. It is more dark and mellowed in tint, more elabo- 
rately worked up, and, in some respects, more effectively 
arranged, than any of its predecessors. Inclosed in an oval 
of well- imitated stone fretwork, vigorous in execution, rich 
in color, the brow, eyes, and mouth full of character— alto- 
gether it is a striking and impressive delineation. That it 
was thus originally regarded we may infer from the unani- 
mous resolution of the U. S. Senate, in 1832, appropriating 
two thousand dollars for its purchase, and from the numer- 
ous copies of the original, in military costume, belonging 
to the artist, which have been and are still ordered. Rem- 
brandt Peale is said to be the only living artist who ever 
saw Washington. In the pamphlet which he issued to 
authenticate the work, we find the cordial testimony to its 
fidelity and other merits of Lawrence Lewis, the eldest 
nephew of Washington ; of the late venerable John Vaughan, 
of Bishop White, Rufus King, Charles Carroll, Edward 

Cife of U/asl?ir)$toi} 415 

Livingston, General Smith, Dr. James Thacher, and Judge 
Cranch. Chief -justice Marshall says of it: "It is more 
Washington himself than any portrait I have ever seen;" 
and Judge Peters explains his approval by declaring, "I 
judge from its effect on my heart." 

No artist enjoyed the opportunities of Colonel Trum- 
bull as the portrayer of "Washington. As aid-de-camp he 
was familiar with his appearance in the prime of his life and 
its most exciting era. At the commencement of the Revolu- 
tionary struggle, this officer was among the most active, 
and essentially promoted the secure retreat of the American 
forces, under General Sullivan, from Rhode Island; he, 
therefore, largely partook of the spirit of those days, came 
freely under the influence of Washington's character as it 
pervaded the camp, and had ample time and occasion to 
observe the commander-in-chief in his military aspect, and 
in social intercourse, on horseback, in the field, and at the 
hospitable board, in the councils of war, when silently medi- 
tating his great work, when oppressed with anxiety, ani- 
mated by hope, or under the influence of those quick and 
strong feelings he so early learned to subdue. After Trum- 
bull's resignation, and when far away from the scene of 
Washington's glory, he painted his head from recollection, 
so distinctly was every feature and expression impressed 
upon his mind. In the autumn of 1789 he returned from 
Europe, and began his sketches of the chiefs and statesmen 
of the Revolution, afterward embodied in the pictures that 
adorn the rotunda of the Capitol, and the originals of which, 
invaluable for their authenticity, may now be seen in the 
gallery at New Haven. Here is preserved the most spirited 
portrait of Washington that exists — the only reflection of 
him as a soldier of freedom worthy of the name, drawn from 
life. The artist's own account of this work is given in his 
memoirs: "In 1792 I was again in Philadelphia, and there 
painted the portrait of General Washington, now placed iv 

416 U/or^s of U/asbio<$tOT) Iruir)$ 

the gallery at New Haven, the best, certainly, of those that 
I painted, and the best, in my estimation, which exists in 
his heroic and military character. The city of Charleston, 
S. C, instructed Mr. W. R. Smith, one of the representatives 
of South Carolina, to employ me to paint for them a portrait 
of the great man, and I undertook it con amore, as the 
commission was unlimited, meaning to give his military 
character at the most sublime moment of its exertion — the 
evening previous to the battle of Trenton, when, viewing 
the vast superiority of his approaching enemy, the impossi- 
bility of again crossing the Delaware or retreating down the 
river, he conceives the plan of returning by a night march 
into the country from which he had been driven, thus cut- 
ting off the enemy's communication and destroying the 
depot of stores at Brunswick." There is a singular felicity 
in this choice of the moment to represent Washington, for 
it combines all the most desirable elements of expression 
characteristic of the man. It is a moment, not of brilliant 
achievement, but of intrepid conception, when the dignity 
of thought is united with the sternness of resolve, and the 
enthusiasm of a daring experiment kindles the habitual mood 
of self-control into an unwonted glow. As the artist un- 
folded his design to "Washington, the memory of that event- 
ful night thrilled him anew ; he rehearsed the circumstances, 
described the scene, and his face was lighted up as the 
memorable crisis in his country's fate and his own career 
was renewed before him. He spoke of the desperate chance, 
the wild hope, and the hazardous but fixed determination 
of that hour; and, as the gratified painter declares, "looked 
the scene." "The result," he says, "was, in my own opin- 
ion, eminently successful, and the General was satisfied." 
"Whether the observer of the present day accedes to the 
opinion, that he "happily transferred to the canvas the 
lofty expression of his animated countenance, the resolve 
to conquer or perish"; whether the picture comes up to his 
preconceived ideal of the heroic view of "Washington or not, 
he must admit that it combines great apparent fidelity, 

Cife of U/asl?ii)<$t:oi) 417 

with more spirit and the genius of action, than all other 

Although not so familiar as Stuart's, numerous good 
copies of Trumbull's Washington, some from his own, and 
others by later pencils, have rendered it almost as well 
known in this country. Contemporaries give it a decided 
preference; it recalled the leader of the American armies, 
the man who was " first in the hearts of his countrymen," 
ere age relaxed the facial muscles and modified the decisive 
lines of the mouth ; it was associated in their minds with the 
indignant rebuke at Monmouth, the brilliant surprise at 
Trenton, and the heroic patience at Valley Forge; it was 
the Washington of their youth who led the armies of free- 
dom, the modest, the brave, the vigilant and triumphant 
chief. Ask an elderly Knickerbocker what picture will give 
you a good idea of Washington, and he will confidently refer 
you, as the testimony his father has taught him, to Trum- 
bull's portrait in the City Hall. When Lafayette first beheld 
a copy of this picture, in a gentleman's house in New Jersey, 
on his visit to this country, a few years before his death, 
he uttered an exclamation of delight at its resemblance. An 
excellent copy, by Vanderlyn, adorns the U. S. House of 
Representatives, for the figure in which, Geo. B. Rapalye, 
Esq., a highly respected citizen of New York, stood with 
exemplary patience, for many days, wearing a coat, perhaps 
the first specimen of American broadcloth, that had been 
worn by Washington. The air of the figure is as manly 
and elegant, the look as dignified and commanding, and the 
brow as practical in its molding, as in Stuart's representa- 
tion of him at a more advanced period ; but the face is less 
round, the profile more aquiline, the complexion has none 
of the fresh and ruddy hue, and the hair is not yet blanched. 
It is, altogether, a keener, more active, less thoughtful, but 
equally graceful and dignified man. He stands in an easy 
attitude, in full uniform, with his hand on his horse's neck; 
and the most careless observer, though ignorant of the sub- 
ject, would recognize, at a glance, the image of a brave man, 

418 U/or^s of U/asbip^toi) Jrvir}<$ 

an intelligent officer, and an honorable gentleman. The 
excellent engraving of Durand has widely disseminated 
Trumbull's spirited head of "Washington. 

Although the concurrent testimony of those best fitted 
to judge give the palm to Trumbull's portrait, now in the 
gallery at New Haven, as the most faithful likeness of 
"Washington in his prime, this praise seems to refer rather 
to the general expression and air than to the details of the 
face. Trumbull often failed in giving a satisfactory like- 
ness; he never succeeded in rendering the complexion, as 
is obvious by comparing that of his picture in the New York 
City Hall with any or all of Stuart's heads; the former is 
yellow, and gives the idea of a bilious temperament, while 
the latter, in every instance, have the florid, ruddy tint 
which, we are assured, was characteristic of Washington, 
and indicative of his active habits, constant exposure to the 
elements, and Saxon blood. The best efforts of Trumbull 
were his first, careful sketches; he never could elaborate 
with equal effect; the collection of small, original heads, 
from which his historical pictures were drawn, are invalu- 
able, as the most authentic resemblances in existence of our 
Revolutionary heroes. They have a genuine look and a 
spirited air seldom discoverable in the enlarged copies. 

4< "Washington," says Trumbull, in describing the picture, 
**is represented standing on elevated ground, on the south 
side of the creek at Trenton, a little below the stone-bridge 
and mill. He has a reconnoitering glass in his hand, with 
which he is supposed to have been examining the strength 
of the hostile army, pouring into and occupying Trenton, 
which he has just abandoned at their appearance; and, hav- 
ing ascertained their great superiority, as well in numbers 
as discipline, he is supposed to have been meditating how 
to avoid the apparently impending ruin, and to have just 
formed the plan which he executed during the night. This 
led to the splendid success at Princeton on the following 
morning; and, in the estimation of the great Frederick, 
placed his military character on a level with that of the 

Cife of U/ast?in$toi) 419 

greatest commanders of ancient or modern times. Behind, 
and near, an attendant holds his horse. Every minute 
article of dress, down to the buttons and spurs, and the 
buckles and straps of the horse furniture, were carefully 
painted from the different objects." 

The gentleman who was the medium of this commission 
to Trumbull, praised his work; but aware of the popular 
sentiment, declared it not calm and peaceful enough to 
satisfy those for whom it was intended. With reluctance, 
the painter asked Washington, overwhelmed as he was with 
official duty, to sit for another portrait, which represents him 
in his every-day aspect, and, therefore, better pleased the 
citizens of Charleston. "Keep this picture," said Washing- 
ton to the artist, speaking of the first experiment, "and finish 
it to your own taste." When the Connecticut State Society 
of Cincinnati dissolved, a few of the members purchased 
it as a gift to Yale College. 

Gilbert Stuart's most cherished anticipation when he 
left England for America was that of executing a portrait 
of Washington. A consummate artist in a branch which 
his own triumphs had proved could be rendered of the high- 
est interest, he eagerly sought illustrious subjects for his 
pencil. This enthusiasm was increased, in the present case, 
by the unsullied fame and the exalted European reputation 
of the American hero, by the greatest personal admiration 
of his character, and by the fact that no satisfactory repre- 
sentation existed abroad of a man whose name was identical 
with more than Roman patriotism and magnanimity. Stuart, 
by a series of masterly portraits, had established his renown 
in London, he had mingled in the best society ; his vigorous 
mind was cognizant of all the charms that wit and acumen 
lend to human intercourse, and he knew the power which 
genius and will may so readily command. His own nature 
was more remarkable for strength than refinement; he was 
eminently fitted to appreciate practical talents and moral 
energy; the brave truth of nature, rather than her more 
delicate effects, were grasped and reproduced by his skill; 

420 U/or^s of \I/as^ir>($tor> Iruip^ 

he might not have done justice to the ideal contour of Shel- 
ley, or the gentle features of Mary of Scotland, but could 
have perfectly reflected the dormant thunder of Mirabeau's 
countenance, and the argumentative abstraction that knit 
the brows of Samuel Johnson. He was a votary of truth 
in her boldest manifestations, and a delineator of character 
in its normal and sustained elements. The robust, the vener- 
able, the moral picturesque, the mentally characteristic, he 
seized by intuition ; those lines of physiognomy which chan- 
neled by will the map of inward life, which years of consist- 
ent thought and action trace upon the countenance, the hue 
that, to an observant eye, indicates almost the daily vocation, 
the air suggestive of authority or obedience, firmness or 
vacillation, the glance of the eye, which is the measure 
of natural intelligence and the temper of the soul, the expres- 
sion of the mouth that infallibly betrays the disposition, the 
tint of hair and mold of features, not only attesting the period 
of life but revealing what that life has been, whether toil- 
some or inert, self-indulgent or adventurous, careworn or 
pleasurable — these, and such as these records of humanity, 
Stuart transferred, in vivid colors and most trustworthy out- 
lines, to the canvas. Instinctive, therefore, was his zeal to 
delineate Washington ; a man who, of all the sons of fame, 
most clearly and emphatically wrote his character in deeds 
upon the world's heart, whose traits required no imagination 
to give them effect and no metaphysical insight to unravel 
their perplexity, but were brought out by the exigencies of 
the time in distinct relief, as bold, fresh, and true as the 
verdure of spring and the lights of the firmament, equally 
recognized by the humblest peasant and the most gifted 

To trace the history of each of Stuart's portraits of "Wash- 
ington would prove of curious interest. One of his letters 
to a relative, dated the second of November, 1794, enables 
us to fix the period of the earliest experiment. "The object 
of my journey," he says, "is only to secure a portrait of the 
President and finish yours." One of the succeeding pictures 

Cife of U/as{?ii)$toi) 421 

was bought from the artist's studio by Mr. Tayloe, of Wash- 
ington, and is, at present, owned by his son, B. Ogle Tayloe, 
Esq. ; another was long in the possession of Madison, and 
is now in that of Governor E. Coles, of Philadelphia. The 
full-length, in the Presidential mansion, at the seat of gov- 
ernment, was saved through the foresight and care of the 
late Mrs. Madison, when the city was taken by the British 
in the last war. Stuart, however, always denied that this 
copy was by him. Another portrait of undoubted authen- 
ticity was offered to and declined by Congress, a few years 
ago, and is owned by a Boston gentleman ; and one graced 
the hospitable dwelling of Samuel Williams, the London 
banker. For a long period artistic productions on this side 
of the water were subjects of ridicule. Tudor not inaptly 
called the New England country meeting-houses "wooden 
lanterns"; almost every town boasted an architectural mon- 
strosity popularly known as somebody's "folly"; the rows 
of legs in Trumbull 's picture of the Signing of the Declara- 
tion obtained for it the sarcastic name, generally ascribed 
to John Randolph, of "the shin piece"; and Stuart's full- 
length, originally painted for Lord Lansdowne, with one 
arm resting on his sword-hilt, and the other extended, was 
distinguished among artists by the title of the "tea-pot por- 
trait," from the resemblance of the outline to the handle 
and spout of that domestic utensil. The feature, usually 
exaggerated in poor copies, and the least agreeable in the 
original, is the mouth, resulting from the want of support 
of those muscles consequent on the loss of teeth, a defect 
which Stuart vainly attempted to remedy by inserting cotton 
between the jaw and the lips; and Wilson Peale more per- 
manently, but not less ineffectually, sought to relieve by a 
set of artificial teeth. 

We have seen, in western New York, a cabinet head of 
Washington which bears strong evidence of Stuart's pencil, 
and is traced directly by its present owner to his hand, which 
was purchased of the artist and presented to Mr. Gilbert, 
a member of Congress from Columbia County, New York, 

422 Worlds of U/asl?iD<$tor) Iruip^ 

a gentleman who held the original in such veneration that 
he requested, on his death-bed, to have the picture exhibited 
to his fading gaze, as it was the last object he desired to 
behold on earth. The remarks of the latter artist indicate 
what a study he made of his illustrious sitter: "There were," 
he said, "features in his face totally different from what he 
had observed in any other human being; the sockets of the 
eyes, for instance, were larger than what he ever met with 
before, and the upper part of the nose broader. All his feat- 
ures were indicative of the strongest passions; yet, like 
Socrates, his judgment and great self-command made him 
appear a man of a different cast in the eyes of the world." 
The color of his eyes was a light grayish blue, but according 
to Mr. Custis, Stuart painted them of a deeper blue, saying, 
"in a hundred years they will have faded to the right color." 
"While Congress was in session at Philadelphia, in 1794, 
Stuart went thither with a letter of introduction to Wash- 
ington from John Jay. He first met his illustrious subject 
on a reception evening, and was spontaneously accosted by 
him with a greeting of dignified urbanity. Familiar as was 
the painter with eminent men, he afterward declared that 
no human being ever awakened in him the sentiment of 
reverence to such a degree. For a moment, he lost his self- 
possession — with him an experience quite unprecedented — 
and it was not until several interviews that he felt himself 
enough at home with his sitter to give the requisite concen- 
tration of mind to his work. This was owing not less to the 
personal impressiveness of Washington —which all who came 
in contact with him felt and acknowledged— than to the 
profound respect and deep interest which the long antici- 
pations of the artist had fostered in his own mind. He 
failed, probably from this cause, in his first experiment. 
No portrait- painter has left such a reputation for the faculty 
of eliciting expression by his social tact, as Stuart. He 
would even defer his task upon any pretext until he suc- 
ceeded in making the sitter, as he said, "look like himself." 
To induce a natural, unconscious, and characteristic mood, 

Cife of U/asl?ii)$toi) 423 

was his initiative step in the execution of a portrait. Innu- 
merable are the anecdotes of his ingenuity and persistence in 
carrying out this habit. More or less conversant with every 
topic of general interest, and endowed with rare conversa- 
tional ability and knowledge of character, he seldom failed 
to excite the ruling passion, magnetize the prominent idiosyn- 
crasy, or awaken the professional interest of the occupant 
of his throne, whether statesman, farmer, actor, judge, or 
merchant; and his fund of good stories, narrated with dra- 
matic effect, by enchaining the attention or enlisting the sym- 
pathies, usually made the delighted listener self -oblivious 
and demonstrative, when, with an alertness and precision 
like magic, the watchful limner transferred the vital identity 
of his pre-occupied and fascinated subject, with almost 
breathing similitude. In "Washington, however, he found 
a less flexible character upon which to scintillate his wit 
and open his anecdotical battery. Facility of adaptation 
seldom accompanies great individuality; and a man whose 
entire life has been oppressed with responsibility, and in 
whom the prevalent qualities are conscience and good sense, 
can scarcely be expected to possess humor and geniality in 
the same proportion as self-control and reflection. On the 
professional themes of agriculture and military science, 
"Washington T ^as always ready to converse, if not with 
enthusiasm, at least in an attentive and intelligent strain; 
but the artillery of repartee, and the sallies of fancy, made 
but a slight impression upon his grave and reserved nature. 
He was deficient in language — far more a man of action than 
of words — and had been obliged to think too much on vast 
interests, to "carry America in his brain," as one of his eulo- 
gists has aptly said, to readily unbend in colloquial diversion. 
By degrees, however, the desirable relation was established 
between himself and the artist, who, of several portraits, 
justly gave the preference to the Lansdowne picture and the 
unfinished one now possessed by the Boston Athenaeum. 
They, doubtless, are the most perfect representations of 
Washington, as he looked at the time they were executed, 

424 U/orl^s of U/asl?iQ<$t:oi} IruiQ$ 

and will ever be the standards and resource of subsequent 
delineators. The latter, supposed by many to have been his 
original "study," engaged his attention for months. The 
freshness of color, the studious modeling of the brow, the 
mingling of clear purpose and benevolence in the eye, and 
a thorough nobleness and dignity in the whole head, realize 
all the most intelligent admirer of the original has imagined 
— not, indeed, when thinking of him as the intrepid leader 
of armies, but in the last analysis and complete image of the 
hero in retirement, in all the consciousness of a sublime 
career, unimpeachable fidelity to a national trust, and the 
eternal gratitude of a free people. It is this masterpiece 
of Stuart that has not only perpetuated, but distributed over 
the globe»the resemblance of Washington. It has been some- 
times lamented that so popular a work does not represent 
him in the aspect of a successful warrior, or in the flush of 
youth; but there seems to be a singular harmony between 
this venerable image — so majestic, benignant, and serene — 
and the absolute character and peculiar example of Washing- 
ton, separated from what was purely incidental and contin- 
gent in his life. Self-control, endurance, dauntless courage, 
loyalty to a just but sometimes desperate cause, hope through 
the most hopeless crisis, and a tone of feeling the most ex- 
alted, united to habits of candid simplicity, are better embod- 
ied in such a calm, magnanimous, mature image, full of 
dignity and sweetness, than if portrayed in battle array, 
or melodramatic attitude. Let such pictures as David's 
Napoleon — with prancing steed, flashing eye, and waving 
sword — represent the mere victor and military genius; but 
he who spurned a crown, knew no watchword but duty, no 
goal but freedom and justice, and no reward but the approval 
of conscience and the gratitude of a country, lives more ap- 
propriately, both to memory and in art, under the aspect 
of a finished life, crowned with the harvest of honor and 
peace, and serene in the consummation of disinterested 

A letter of Stuart's which appeared in the New York 

Cife of U/asl?ii)$toi) 425 

"Evening Post," in 1853,* attested by three gentlemen of 
Boston, with one from Washington making the appointment 
for a sitting, proves the error long current in regard both to 
the dates and the number of this artist's original portraits. 
He there distinctly states that he never executed but three 
from life, the first of which was so unsatisfactory that he de- 
stroyed it; the second was the picture for Lord Lansdowne; 
and the third, the one now belonging to the Boston Athenaeum. 
Of these originals he made twenty-six copies. The finishing 
touches were put to the one in September, 1795, and to the 
other, at Philadelphia, in the spring of 1796. This last, it 
appears by a letter of Mr. Custis, which we have examined, 
was undertaken against the desire of Washington, and at 
the earnest solicitation of his wife, who wished a portrait 

* Extract from article in N. F. Evening Post, March 
15th, 1853: 

It may set this question at rest to state that Stuart him- 
self has given an account of all the portraits of Washington 
that he painted. 

A gentleman of Philadelphia has in his possession the 
originals of the following documents. [Edit. Post.] — 

Sir — I am under promise to Mrs. Bingham, to sit for you 
to-morrow at nine o'clock, and wishing to know if it be con- 
venient to you that I should do so, and whether it shall bo at 
your own house (as she talked of the State House), I send 
this note to you to ask information. 

I am, sir, your obedient servt, 

Monday Evening, 11th April, 1796. 

This letter was indorsed in Washington's handwriting — 
"Mr. Stuart, Chestnut Street." At the foot of the manu- 
script are the following certificates : 

In looking over my papers to find one that had the signa- 
ture of George Washington, I found this, asking me when 
he should sit for his portrait, which is now owned by Samuel 
Williams, of London. I have thought it proper it should be 
his, especially as he owns the only original painting 1 ever 

4X6 ll/orl^s of U/asr;ir;$tOD Irvir;<$ 

from life of her illustrious husband, to be placed among the 
other family pictures at Mount Vernon. For this express 
purpose, and to gratify her, the artist commenced the work, 
and Washington agreed to sit once more. It was left, inten- 
tionally, unfinished, and when subsequently claimed by Mr. 
Custis, who offered a premium upon the original price, Stuart 
excused himself, much to the former's dissatisfaction, on the 
plea that it was a requisite legacy for his children. Simul- 
taneously with the Lansdowne portrait the artist executed 
for "William Constable that now in the possession of his grand- 
son, Henry E. Pierrepont, Esq., of Brooklyn, L. I. Motives 
of personal friendship induced the artist to exert his best skill 
in this instance ; it is a facsimile of its prototype, and the ex- 
pression has been thought even more noble and of higher sig- 
nificance, more in accordance with the traditional character 

made of Washington, except one I own myself. I painted a 
third, but rubbed it out. I now present this to his brother, 
Timo Williams, for said Samuel. 

Boston, 9th of March, 1823. GT. STUART. 

Attest— J. P. Davis. 
W. Dutton. 
L. Baldwin. 

N.B. — Mr. Stuart painted in ye winter season his first 
portrait of Washington, but destroyed it. The next paint- 
ing was ye one owned by S. Williams; the third Mr. S. now 
has — two only remain, as above stated. T. W. 

The picture alluded to in the above note of the late Timo 
Williams, as being then in Mr. Stuart's possession, is the one 
now in the Boston Athenaeum; and that which belonged to 
the late Samuel Williams, Esq., alluded to in Mr. Stuart's 
note above quoted, is yet extant and owned by the son of an 
American gentleman (John D, Lewis, Esq.), who died in 
London some years since, where it still remains. Mr. Wil- 
liams had paid for it at the sale of the personal effects of the 
Marquis of Lansdowne — to whom it was originally presented 
by Mr. Bingham, of Philadelphia — two thousand guineas. 

It is this portrait, full length and life size, from which the 
bad engraving was made by Heath, so many copies of which 
are still to be seen in this country. 

Cife of U/asl?ii)<$(:oi) 427 

of the subject, than the Athenaeum picture. It has the eyes 
looking off, and not at the spectator, as in the latter. Mr. 
Constable, the original proprietor, was aid to General Wash- 
ington; and when Lafayette visited this country in 1824, 
upon entering the drawing-room at Brooklyn Heights, where 
the picture hangs, he exclaimed, "That is my old friend, in- 
deed !" Colonel Nicholson Fish and General Van Rensselaer 
joined in attesting the superior excellence of the likeness. 

The usual objection to Stuart's Washington is a certain 
feebleness about the lines of the mouth, which does not cor- 
respond with the distinct outline of the frontal region, the 
benign yet resolved eye, and the harmonious dignity of the 
entire head; but this defect was an inevitable result of 
the loss of teeth, and their imperfect substitution by a false 
set. In view of the state of the arts in this country at the 
period, and the age of Washington, we cannot but congratu- 
late ourselves that we have so pleasing and satisfactory a 
portrait, and exclaim, with Leslie, "how fortunate it was 
that a painter existed in the time of Washington who could 
hand him down looking like a gentleman !" Dr. Marshall, 
brother of the Chief -justice, said that Washington did not 
resemble Pine's portrait, when he knew him, that Wertmul- 
ler's had too French a look, another by Wertmuller had eyes 
too light, but that Stuart's was prodigiously "like." 

Opinions are quite diverse in regard to the Wertmuller 
portrait. There are many points of executive merit in the 
original not completely rendered in the engraving ; the air of 
the head, the grave and refined look, the well-arranged hair, 
neat ruffles, and old-fashioned coat, sprinkled at the shoul- 
ders with powder, at once gave the somewhat vague yet un- 
mistakable impression of "the portrait of a gentleman." 
There is an expression of firmness and clear-sightedness, and 
an erect, brave attitude which reveals the soldier; and there 
is more animation than we are accustomed to see in portraits 
of Washington. The latter trait is probably that which led 
to the selection of this picture as an illustration to Irving's 

428 U/orl^s of U/astyip^tor) Iruir)$ 

Adolphe Ulric Wertmuller was a devoted student of 
art, but his taste and style were chiefly formed under the in- 
fluence of the old French Academy — and long before the deli- 
cate adherence to nature which now redeems the best modern 
pictures of French artists had taken the place of a certain 
artificial excellence and devotion to mere effect. The career 
of this accomplished painter was marked by singular vicissi- 
tudes — a native of Stockholm, after preparatory studies there, 
he went to Paris, and remained several years acquiring both 
fame and fortune by his pencil; the latter, however, was 
nearly all lost by the financial disasters at the outbreak of 
the Revolution, and Wertmuller embarked for America, and 
arrived in Philadelphia in 1794. He was well received and 
highly estimated; Washington sat to him;* in 1796 he re- 
turned to Europe, but, after a brief period, the failure of a 
commercial house in Stockholm, in whose care he had placed 
his funds, so vexed him that he returned to Philadelphia, 
where he soon after exhibited his large and beautiful picture 
of "Danae" — which, while greatly admired for the executive 
talent it displayed, was too exceptionable a subject to meet 
with the approbation of the sober citizens, whose sense of 
propriety was so much more vivid than their enthusiasm for 
art. "Wertmuller soon after married a lady of Swedish de- 
scent, purchased a farm in Delaware County, Penn., and 
resided there in much comfort and tranquillity, until his 
death in 1812. His pictures were sold at auction; and a 
small copy of the " Danae" brought $500; the original, some 
years after, being purchased in New York for three times 
that sum. In an appreciative notice of him, which appeared 
soon after his death in a leading literary journal, there is the 
following just reference to his portrait of Washington: "It 
has been much praised and frequently copied on the conti- 
nent of Europe; but it has a forced and foreign air, into 
which the painter seems to have fallen by losing sight of 

* See notice of Wertmuller in "Analectic Magazine," 


Cife of \JJas\)\r)$tOT) 429 

the noble presence • before him, in an attempt after ideal 
dignity. " * 

Wertmuller was eminent in his day for miniatures and 
oil portraits. Our first knowledge of him was derived from 
the superb picture of Danae, which, for some time, occupied 
a nook, curtained from observation, in the studio of the late 
Henry Inman, of New York, and it was exhibited in Wash- 
ington City, thirty years ago. There was fine drawing and 
rich color in this voluptuous creation — enough to convey a 
high idea of the skill and grace of the artist. With this 
picture vividly in the mind, it is difficult to realize that the 
chaste, subdued portrait of Washington was from the same 

It was confidently asserted that Washington invariably 
noted in his diary his sittings to portrait painters, and that 
no entry appears in reference to this picture. Its claim to 
originality was, therefore, questioned. With the impatience 
of the whole subject, however, that Washington confessed at 
last, he may have ceased to record what became a penance; 
and were the picture satisfactory in other respects, we should 
not be disposed to complain that it was skillfully combined 
from other portraits. But, in our view, the engraving, at 
least, has intrinsic faults. It is neither the Washington fa- 
miliar to observation as portrayed, nor to fancy as idealized. 
There is a self-conscious expression about the mouth, not visi- 
ble in Stuart's or Trumbull's heads, and out of character with 
itself; the eyebrows are raised so as to indicate either a su- 
percilious or a surprised mood, both alien to Washington's 
habitual state of mind; it is impossible for the brows to be 
knit between the eyes, and arched over them at the same 
time, as in this engraving; the eyes themselves have a star- 
ing look; the animation so much wanted is here obtained at 
the expense of that serenity which was a normal characteris- 
tic of the man ; we miss the modesty, the latent power, the 
placid strength, so intimately associated with the looks as 

* "Analectic Magazine." 

430 U/orl^s of U/asl?ii7$tor) Iruin$ 

well as the nature of "W ashington ; the visage is too elon- 
gated; compared with the Athenaeum portrait this picture 
has a commonplace expression; it does not approach it in 
moral elevation ; we should pass it by in a gallery as the like- 
ness of a gentleman and a brave officer, but not linger over 
it as the incarnation of disinterested, magnanimous, loyal 
courage, such as lent a certain unconscious, impressive, and 
superior aspect to "Washington, and divided him, by an infi- 
nite distance, from the mob of vulgar heroes. 

The latest and most triumphant attempt to embody and 
illustrate the features, form, and character of Washington 
in statuary, was made by the late American sculptor — 
Thomas Crawford. How well he studied, and how ade- 
quately he reproduced the head of his illustrious subject, may 
be realized by a careful examination of the noble and impres- 
sive marble bust of Washington from his chisel, now in the 
possession of John Ward, Esq., of New York. Essentially, 
and as far as contour and proportions are concerned, based 
upon the model of Houdon — this beautiful and majestic effigy 
is instinct with the character of its subject, so that while sat- 
isfactory in detail as a resemblance caught from nature, it, 
at the same time, is executed in a spirit perfectly accordant 
with the traditional impressions and the distinctive ideas 
whence we derive our ideal of the man, the chieftain, and 
the patriot; the molding of the brow, the pose of the head, 
and especially the expression of the mouth, are not less au- 
thentic than effective. But the crowning achievement of 
this artist is his equestrian statue executed for the State of 
"Virginia, and now the grand trophy and ornament of her 
Capital. "When on the evening of his arrival, Crawford 
went to see, for the first time, his Washington in bronze at 
the Munich foundry, he was surprised at the dusky precincts 
of the vast area; suddenly torches flashed illumination on 
the magnificent horse and rider, and simultaneously burst 
forth from a hundred voices a song of triumph and jubilee; 
thus the delighted Germans congratulated their gifted brother 

Cife of U/ast?io<$tor> 431 

and hailed the sublime work — typical to them of American 
freedom, patriotism, and genius. The Bavarian king warmly 
recognized its original merits and consummate effect; the 
artists would suffer no inferior hands to pack and dispatch 
it to the seaside ; peasants greeted its triumphal progress ; the 
people of Richmond were emulous to share the task of con- 
veying it from the quay to Capitol Hill; mute admiration 
followed by ecstatic cheers hailed its unveiling, and the most 
gracious native eloquence inaugurated its erection. We might 
descant upon the union of majesty and spirit in the figure of 
Washington, and the vital truth of action in the horse, the 
air of command and of rectitude, the martial vigor and grace, 
so instantly felt by the popular heart and so critically praised 
by the adept in sculpture cognizant of the difficulties to over- 
come, and the impression to be absolutely conveyed by such 
a work, in order to make it at once true to nature and to 
character; we might repeat the declaration that no figure, 
ancient or modern, so entirely illustrates the classical defini- 
tion of oratory, as consisting in action, as the statue of Pat- 
rick Henry, one of the grand accessories of the work — which 
seems instinct with that memorable utterance, 'Give me lib- 
erty, or give me death.' " By a singular and affecting coin- 
cidence, the news of Crawford's death reached the United 
States simultaneously with the arrival of the ship containing 
this colossal bronze statue of Washington— his "crowning 
achievement." In this work, the first merit is naturalness; 
although full of equine ardor, the graceful and noble animal 
is evidently subdued by his rider; calm power is obvious in 
the man, restrained eagerness in the horse ; Washington's 
left hand is on the snaffle bridle, which is drawn back; he 
sits with perfect ease and dignity, the head and face a little 
turned to the left, as if his attention had just been called in 
that direction, either in expectancy, or to give an order; he 
points forward, and a little upward ; the figure is erect, the 
chest thrown forward, the knees pressed to the saddle, the 
heel nearly beneath the shoulder, and the sole of the foot al- 
most horizontal. The seat is a military and not a hunting 

432 U/orKs of U/asl?ir;$tor; Iruir><$ 

seat; the horse is recognized, by one acquainted with breeds, 
as "a charger of Arab blood." 

His hands were large, as became one inured to practical 
achievement ; his forehead was of that square mold that ac- 
companies an executive mind, not swelling at the temples, as 
in the more ideal conformation of poetical men ; a calm and 
benevolent light usually gleamed from his eyes, and they 
flashed, at times, with valorous purpose or stern indignation ; 
but they were not remarkably large, as in persons of more 
fluency, and foretold "Washington's natural deficiency in lan- 
guage, proclaiming the man of deeds, not words ; neither had 
they the liquid hue of extreme sensibility, nor the varying 
light of an unsubdued temperament; their habitual expres- 
sion was self-possessed, serene and thoughtful. There was a 
singular breadth to the face, invariably preserved by Stuart, 
but not always by Trumbull, who often gives an aquiline and 
somewhat elongated visage : no good physiognomist can fail 
to see in his nose that dilation of the nostril and prominence 
of the ridge which belong to resolute and spirited characters; 
the distance between the eyes marks a capacity to measure 
distances and appreciate form and the relation of space ; but 
these special traits are secondary to the carriage of the body, 
and the expression of the whole face, in which appear to have 
blended an unparalleled force of impression. When fully 
possessed of the details of his remarkable countenance, and 
inspired by the record of his career, we turn from the descrip- 
tion of those who beheld the man on horseback, at the head 
of an army, presiding over the national councils, or seated in 
the drawing-room, to any of the portraits, we feel that no 
artist ever caught his best look, or transmitted his features 
when kindled by that matchless soul. If we compare any 
selection of engravings with each other, so inferior are the 
greater part extant, we find such glaring discrepancies that 
doubts multiply; and we realize that art never did entire 
justice to the idea, the latent significance, and the absolute 
character of Washington. There is dignity in Houdon's 

Cife of U/a8fyir)<$toi) 433 

bust, an effective facia! angle in the crayon of Sharpless, 
and elegance, wisdom, and benignity in Stuart's head ; but 
what are they, each and all, in contrast with the visage we 
behold in fancy, and revere in heart? It has been ingeniously 
remarked that the letters received by an individual indicate 
his character better than those Le writes, because they sug- 
gest what he elicits from others, and thereby furnish the best 
key to his scope of mind and temper of soul; on the same 
principle the likeness drawn, not from the minute descrip- 
tions, but the vivid impressions of those brought into inti- 
mate contact with an illustrious character, are the most re- 
liable materials for his portrait; they reflect the man in the 
broad mirror of humanity, and are the faithful daguerreotypes 
which the vital radiance of his nature leaves on the conscious- 
ness of mankind. 


[THE original MS. of the Farewell Address, in Washington's handwrit- 
ing, and with his revisions and alterations, having been purchased 
by James Lenox, Esq., of New York, that gentleman caused a 
few copies of it, with some illustrative documents, to be printed 
for private distribution. By permission of Mr. Lenox it is here 
reprinted, with the alterations, and with his explanatory 


This reprint of Washington's Farewell Address to the 
people of the United States is made from the original manu- 
script recently sold in Philadelphia by the administrators of 
the late Mr. David C. Claypoole, in whose possession it had 
been from the date of its first publication. The paper is 
entirely in the autograph of "W ashington : no one acquainted 
with his handwriting can inspect it and doubt for a moment 
the statements to that effect made by Mr. Claypoole and Mr. 
Rawle. Upon examining the manuscript, it was found that, 

Vol. XV.—* * * 19 

434 U/or^s of U/a8^ir>^top Irvir}$ 

in addition to its importance as a historical document, and 
its value from being in the autograph of "W ashington, it was 
of great interest as a literary curiosity, and threw light upon 
the disputed question of the authorship of the Address. It 
clearly shows the process by which that paper was wrought 
into the form in which it was first given to the public ; and 
notes written on the margin of passages and paragraphs, 
which have been erased, prove, almost beyond a doubt, that 
this draft was submitted to the judgment of other persons. 
Such memoranda was unnecessary either for Washington's 
own direction on a subsequent revision, or for the guidance 
of the printer ; but he might very naturally thus note the 
reasons which had led him to make the alterations before he 
asked the advice and opinion of his friends. It seems prob- 
able, therefore, that this is the very draft sent to General 
Hamilton and Chief- justice Jay, as related in the letter of 
the latter. Some of the alterations, however, were evidently 
made during the writing of the paper; for in a few instances 
a part, and even the whole, of a sentence is struck out, which 
afterward occurs in the body of the address. 

Mr. Claypoole's description of the appearance of the manu- 
script is very accurate. There are many alterations, correc- 
tions, and interlineations ; and whole sentences and para- 
graphs are sometimes obliterated. All these, however, have 
been deciphered without much trouble, and carefully noted. 

It was thought best to leave the text in this edition as it 
was first printed: only two slight verbal variations were 
found between the corrected manuscript and the common 
printed copies. All the interlineations and alterations are 
inserted in brackets [ ], and where, in any case, words or 
sentences have been struck out, either with or without cor- 
rections in the text to supply their place, these portions have 
been deciphered and are printed in notes at the foot of the 
page. The reader will thus be enabled to perceive at a glance 
the changes made in the composition of the address; and if 
the draft made by General Hamilton, and read by him to 
Mr. Jay, should be published, it will be seen how far "Wash- 

Cife of \lfa&\)\T)$tOT) 435 

ington adopted the modifications and suggestions made by 

"When this preface was thus far prepared for the press, 
an opportunity was afforded, through the kindness of John 
C. Hamilton, Esq., to examine several letters which passed 
between Washington and General Hamilton relating to the 
Address, and also a copy of it in the handwriting of the lat- 
ter. It appears from these communications that the Presi- 
dent, both in sending to him a rough draft of the document, 
and at subsequent dates, requested him to prepare such an 
Address as he thought would be appropriate to the occasion; 
that Washington consulted him particularly, and most mi- 
nutely, on many points connected with it; and that at dif- 
ferent times General Hamilton did forward to the President 
three drafts of such a paper. The first was sent back to him 
with suggestions for its correction and enlargement; from 
the second draft, thus altered and improved, the manuscript 
now printed may be supposed to have been prepared by 
Washington, and transmitted for final examination to Gen- 
eral Hamilton and Judge Jay; and with it the third draft 
was returned to the President, and may probably yet be found 
among his papers. 

The copy in the possession of Mr. Hamilton is probably 
the second of these three drafts : it is very much altered and 
corrected throughout. In comparing it with that in Wash- 
ington's autograph, the sentiments are found to be the same, 
and the words used are very frequently identical. Some of 
the passages erased in the manuscript are in the draft : three 
paragraphs, viz., those on pages 50, 51, and 52, have noth- 
ing corresponding to them in the draft ; but a space is left in 
it, evidently for the insertion of additional matter. The com- 
parison of these two papers is exceedingly curious. It is diffi- 
cult to conceive how two persons could express the same ideas 
in substantially the same language, and yet with much di- 
versity in the construction of the sentences, and the position 
of the words. L. 

New York, April 12, 1850. 

436 U/orKs of U/asl?ir)$tOQ Irving 


Friends, and Fellow-Citizens: 

The period for a new election of a Citizen, to administer 
the Executive Government of the United States, being not 
far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your 
thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who 
is to be clothed with that important trust [*], it appears to 
me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct 
expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise 
you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being con- 
sidered among the number of those, out of whom a choice 
is to be made. 

I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be 
assured, that this resolution has not been taken, without a 
strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the 
relation, which binds a dutiful citizen to his country — and 
that, in withdrawing the tender of service which silence in 
my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution 
of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful 
respect for your past kindness; but [am supported by] f a 
full conviction that the step is compatible with both. 

The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office 
to which your suffrages have twice called me, have been a 
uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty, and 
to a deference for what appeared to be your desire, — I con- 
stantly hoped, that it would have been much earlier in my 
power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty 
to disregard, to return to that retirement, from which I had 
been reluctantly drawn. — The strength of my inclination 
to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the 
preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature 
reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our 
affairs with foreign Nations, and the unanimous advice of 

* for another term f act under 

Cife of U/ast?ir?<$tor> 437 

persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon 
the idea. — 

I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well 
as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination in- 
compatible with the sentiment of duty, or propriety; and 
[am persuaded] * whatever partiality [may be retained] f 
for my services, [that] J in the present circumstances of our 
country [you] will not disapprove my determination to retire. 

The impressions, [with] § which I first [undertook] || the 
arduous trust, were explained on the proper occasion. In 
the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with 
good intentions, contributed [toward] T the organization and 
administration of the government, the best exertions of which 
a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious, in 
the outset, of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience 
in my own eyes, [perhaps] still more in the eyes of others, 
has [strengthened] ** the motives to diffidence of myself; and 
every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me 
more and more, that the shade of retirement is as necessary 
to me as it will be welcome. — Satisfied that if any circum- 
stances have given peculiar value to my services, they were 
temporary, I have the consolation to believe, that, while 
choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, 
patriotism does not forbid it. [ft] 

In looking forward to the moment, which is [intended] 

* that f any portion of you may yet retain J even they 
§ under | accepted T to ** not lessened 

ft May I also have that of knowing in my retreat that the 
involuntary errors, I have probably committed, have been 
the sources of no serious or lasting mischief to our country. 
I may then expect to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoy- 
ment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the 
benign influence of good laws under a free government; 
the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, 
I trust, of our mutual cares, dangers and labors. 

In the margin opposite this paragraph is the following 
note in Washington's Autograph, also erased, "obliterated 
to avoid the imputation of affected modesty." 

438 U/orl^s of U/asbir><$tor) Irvir>$ 

to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not 
permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment [of] * that 
debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country, — for 
the many honors it has conferred upon me ; still more for the 
steadfast confidence with which it has supported me; and 
for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting 
my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persever- 
ing, though [in usefulness unequal] f to my zeal. — If bene- 
fits have resulted to our country from these services, let it 
always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive 
example in our annals, that [J] under circumstances in 
which the Passions agitated in every direction were liable 
to [mislead] § amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicis- 
situdes of fortune often discouraging — in situations in which 
not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit 
of criticism [the constancy of your support] was the essential 
prop of the efforts and [a] fl guarantee of the plans by which 
they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, 
I shall carry it with me to the grave, as a strong incitement 
to unceasing vows [T] that Heaven may continue to you the 
choicest tokens of its beneficence — that your union and broth- 
erly affection may be perpetual — that the free constitution, 
which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained 
— that its administration in every department may be stamped 
with wisdom and virtue — that, in fine, the happiness of the 
people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be 
made complete, by so careful a preservation and so prudent 
a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory [**] 
of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adop- 
tion of every nation which is yet a stranger to it. 

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. — But a solicitude for your 
welfare which cannot end but with my life, and the appro* 

* demanded by f unequal in usefulness 

X the constancy of your support 

§ wander and fluctuate 

| the T the only return 1 can henceforth make 

** or satisfaction 

Cife of U/asl?ii}<$tor) 439 

hension of danger, natural to that solicitude, [urge me, on 
an occasion like the present, to offer] * to your solemn con- 
templation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some 
sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no 
inconsiderable observation [f], and which appear to me all 
important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. — 
These will be offered to you with the more freedom as you 
can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a depart- 
ing friend, who can [possibly] have no personal motive to 
bias his counsels. — [Nor can I forget, as an encouragement 
to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former 
and not dissimilar occasion.] 

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament 
of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to 
fortify or confirm the attachment. 

The Unity of Government which constitutes you one 
people, is also now dear to you. — It is justly so; — for it is a 
main Pillar in the Edifice of your real independence; [the 
support] of your tranquillity at home; your peace abroad; 
of your safety; [J] of your prosperity [§]; of that very 
Liberty which you so highly prize. — But, as it is easy to fore- 
see, that from [different] || causes, and from different quar- 
ters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to 
weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth : — as this 
is the point in your [political] fortress against which the 
batteries of internal and external enemies will be most con- 
stantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) 
directed, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly 
estimate the immense value of your national Union to your 
collective and individual happiness; — that you should cher- 
ish [T] a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment [to it, 

* encouraged by the remembrance of your indulgent re- 
ception of my sentiments on an occasion not dissimilar to 

the present, urge me to offer f and experience 

in every relation § in every &. 

various 1 toward it 

440 U/or^s of U/astyip^top Irvino; 

accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the 
Palladium of your political safety and prosperity ; watching 
for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing 
whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any 
event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon the first 
dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our 
Country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which 
now link together the various parts.] * — 

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and 
interest. — Citizens [by birth or choice of a common country], f 
that country has a right to concentrate your affections. — The 
name of American, which belongs to you, in your national 
capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, 
more than any appellation [I] derived from local discrimina- 
tions. — "With slight shades of difference, you have the same 
Religion, Manners, Habits, and political Principles. — You 
have in a common cause fought and triumphed together. — 
The Independence and Liberty you possess are the work 
of joint councils and joint efforts — of common dangers, 
sufferings and successes. — 

But these considerations, however powerfully they ad- 
dress themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed 
by those which apply more immediately to your Interest. — 
Here every portion of our country finds the most command- 
ing motives for carefully guarding and preserving the Union 
of the whole. 

The North in an [unrestrained] § intercourse with the 

* that you should accustom yourselves to reverence it as 
the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity, adapt- 
ing constantly your words and actions to that momentous 
idea ; that you should watch for its preservation with jealous 
anxiety, discountenance whatever may suggest a suspicion 
that it can in any event be abandoned; and frown upon the 
first dawning of any attempt to alienate any portion of our 
Country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which 
now link together the several parts. 

f of a common country by birth or choice. 

t to be § unfettered 

Cife of U/asl?ii7<$tor) 441 

South, protected by the equal Laws of a common govern- 
ment, finds in the productions of the latter I*] great addi- 
tional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise — and 
precious materials of manufacturing industry. — The South, 
in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the 
North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. 
Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the 
North, it finds its particular navigation envigorated; — and 
while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and in- 
crease the general mass of the national navigation, it looks 
forward to the protection of a maritime strength to which 
itself is unequally adapted. — The East, in a like intercourse 
with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improve- 
ment of interior communications, by land and water, will 
more and more find, a valuable vent for the commodities 
which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. — 
The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its 
growth and comfort, and what is perhaps of still greater 
consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment 
of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, 
influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic 
side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of 
interest, as one Nation. [Any other] f tenure by which the 
West can hold this essential advantage, [whether derived] J 
from its own separate strength or from an apostate and 
unnatural connection with any foreign Power, must be in- 
trinsically precarious. [§] 

[||] While [then] every part of our Country thus [feels] 1" 
an immediate and particular interest in Union, all the 
parts ** [combined cannot fail to find] in the united mass 

* many of the peculiar f the J either 

§ liable every moment to be disturbed by the fluctuating 
combinations of the primary interests of Europe, which must 
be expected to regulate the conduct of the Nations of which 
it is composed. 

li And 1 finds ** of it 

442 U/orl^s of U/a8l?ii)$tOQ Injfi)$ 

of means and efforts [*] greater strength, greater resource, 
proportionally greater security from external danger, a less 
frequent interruption of their peace by foreign Nations; and, 
[what is] f of inestimable value! they must derive from 
Union an exemption from those broils and wars between 
themselves, which [so frequently] J afflict neighboring coun- 
tries not tied together by the same government; which their 
own rivalships alone would be sufficient to produce; but 
which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues 
would stimulate and imbitter. — Hence likewise they will 
avoid the necessity of those overgrown Military establish- 
ments, which under any form of government are inauspicious 
to liberty, and which [are to be regarded] § as particularly 
hostile to Republican Liberty : In this sense it is that your 
Union ought to be considered as the main prop of your lib- 
erty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the 
preservation of the other. 

These considerations speak a persuasive language to 
[every] || reflecting and virtuous mind, — [and J T exhibit the 
continuance of the Union as a primary object of Patriotic 
desire. — Is there a doubt whether a common government 
can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. — To 
listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. — [We 
are authorized] ** to hope that a proper organization of the 
whole, with the auxiliary agency of governments for the 
respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the ex- 
periment. 'Tis well worth a fair and full experiment, [ft] 

* cannot fail to find f which is an advantage 

X inevitably § there is reason to regard 

I any T they ** 'Tis natural 

ft It may not impossibly be found, that the spirit of 
party, the machinations of foreign powers, Jthe corruption 
and ambition of individual citizens are more formidable 
adversaries to the Unity of our Empire than any inherent 
difficulties in the scheme. Against these the mounds of 
national opinion, national sympathy and national jealousy 
ought to be raised. 

Cife of U/asbir^top 443 

With such powerful and obvious motives to Union, [affect- 
ing] * all parts of our country [f], while experience shall 
not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always 
be [reason] I to distrust the patriotism of those, who in any 
quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands. [§] — 

In contemplating the causes which may disturb our 
Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern, that [any 
ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties 
by] Geographical discriminations — Northern and South- 
ern — Atlantic and Western; [whence designing men may 
endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of 

* as f have J cause in the effect itself 

§ Besides the more serious causes already hinted as 
threatening our Union, there is one less dangerous, but 
sufficiently dangerous to make it prudent to be upon our 
guard against it. I allude to the petulance of party differ- 
ences of opinion. It is not uncommon to hear the irritations 
which these excite vent themselves in declarations that the 
different parts of the United States are ill affected to each 
other, in menaces that the Union will be dissolved by this 
or that measure. Intimations like these are as indiscreet 
as they are intemperate. Though frequently made with 
levity and without any really evil intention, they have a 
tendency to produce the consequence which they indicate. 
They teach the minds of men to consider the Union as pre- 
carious; — as an object to which they ought not to attach 
their hopes and fortunes; — and thus chill the sentiment in 
its favor. By alarming the pride of those to whom they are 
addressed, they set ingenuity at work to depreciate the value 
of the thing, and to discover reasons of indifference toward 
it. This is not wise. — It will be much wiser to habituate 
ourselves to reverence the Union as the palladium of our 
national happiness; to accommodate constantly our words 
and actions to that idea, and to discountenance whatever 
may suggest a suspicion that it can in any event be aban- 
doned. (In the margin opposite this paragraph are the 
words, "Not important enough.") 

our parties for some time past have been too much 
characterized by 

444 U/orl^s of U/asfyiD^too Irving 

local interests and views.] * One of the expedients of Party 
to acquire influence, within particular districts, is to mis- 
represent the opinions and aims of other districts. — You can- 
not shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and 
heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; — 
They tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be 
bound together by fraternal affection. — The inhabitants of 
our Western country have lately had a useful lesson on this 
[head.] f — They have seen, in the negotiation by the Execu- 
tive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the 
Treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that 
event, throughout the United States, a decisive proof how 
unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of 
a policy in the General Government and in the Atlantic 
States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mis- 
sissippi. — They have been witnesses to the formation of 
two Treaties, that with G. Britain, and that with Spain, 
which secure to them everything they could desire, in respect 
to our foreign Relations toward confirming their prosperity. 
— "Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation 
of these advantages on the Union by which they were pro- 
cured? — "Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, 
if such there are, who would sever them from their Breth- 
ren, and connect them with Aliens? — 

* These discriminations, the mere contrivance of 

the spirit of Party (always dexterous to seize every handle 
by which the passions can be wielded, and too skillful not 
to turn to account the sympathy of neighbourhood), have 
furnished an argument against the Union as evidence of a 
real difference of local interests and views; and serve to 
hazard it by organizing larger districts of country, under the 
leaders of contending factions; whose rivalships, prejudices 
and schemes of ambition, rather than the true interests of 
the Country, will direct the use of their influence. If it be 
possible to correct this poison in the habit of our body politic, 
it is worthy the endeavors of the moderate and the good to 
effect it. 

t subject 

Cife of U/asl?ii)$tor) 445 

To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a Govern- 
ment for the whole is indispensable. — No alliances, however 
strict, between the parts, can be an adequate substitute. — 
They must inevitably experience the infractions and inter- 
ruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. — 
Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon 
your first essay, by the adoption of a Constitution of Govern- 
ment, better calculated than your former for an intimate 
Union, and for the efficacious management of your common 
concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, 
uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation 
and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in 
the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, 
and containing within itself a provision for its own amend- 
ment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. 
— Respect for its authority, compliance with its Laws, ac- 
quiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the funda- 
mental maxims of true Liberty. The basis of our political 
systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their 
Constitutions of Government. — But the Constitution which 
at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic 
act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. — 
The very idea of the power and the right of the people to 
establish Government, presupposes the duty of every indi- 
vidual to obey the established Government. 

All obstructions to the execution of the Laws, all com- 
binations and associations, under whatever plausible char- 
acter, with [the real] design to direct, controul, counteract, 
or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted 
authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, 
and of fatal tendency. — They serve to organize faction, to 
give it an artificial and extraordinary force — to put [*] in the 
place of the delegated will of the Nation, the will of a party ; 
— often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the 
community ; — and, according to the alternate triumphs of dif- 

* it 

446 U/orl^s of U/as^ip^tor) Irvir>$ 

ferent parties, to make the public administration the mirror of 
the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather 
than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans, digested 
by common councils and modified by mutual interests. — How- 
ever combinations or associations of the above description 
may now and then answer popular ends, [*] they are likely, 
in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, 
by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be 
enabled to subvert the power of the People, and to usurp 
for themselves the reins of Government; destroying after- 
ward the very engines which have lifted them to unjust 
dominion. — 

Toward the preservation of your Government and the 
permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not 
only that you steadily discountenance irregular opposition 
to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with 
care [the] f spirit of innovation upon its principles however 
specious the pretexts. — One method of assault may be to 
effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which 
will impair the energy of the system, [and thus to J J under- 
mine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes 
to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit- 
are at least as necessary to fix the true character of Govern- 
ments, as of other human institutions — that experience is 
the surest standard, by which to test the real tendency of 
the existing Constitution of a Country — that facility in 
changes upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion 
exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of 
hypothesis and opinion: — and remember, especially, that 
for the efficient management of your common interests, in a 
country so extensive as ours, a Government of as much 
vigour as is consistent with the perfect security of Liberty 
is indispensable — Liberty itself will find in such a Govern- 
ment, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its 
surest guardian. — [It is indeed little else than a name, where 

* and purposes fa t to 

Cife of U/asr;iD<$tOD 447 

the Government *s too feeble to withstand the enterprises of fac- 
tion, to confine each member of the Society within the limits 
prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and 
tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.] * 

I have already intimated to you the danger of Parties in 
the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on 
Geographical discriminations. — Let me now take a more com- 
prehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner 
against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party, generally. 

This Spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from [our] f 
nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the 
[human] mind. — It exists under different shapes in all Gov- 
ernments, more or less stifled, controuled, or repressed; but 
in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rank- 
ness, and it is truly their worst enemy. — [J] 

The alternate domination of one faction over another, 

* Owing to you as I do a frank and free disclosure of my 
heart, I shall not conceal from you the belief I entertain, 
that your Government as at present constituted is far more 
likely to prove too feeble than too powerful. f human 

X In Republics of narrow extent, it is not difficult for 
those who at any time hold the reins of Power, and com- 
mand the ordinary public favour, to overturn the established 
[constitution] * in favour of their own aggrandizement. — The 
same thing may likewise be too often accomplished in such 
Republics, by partial combinations of men, who though not 
in office, from birth, riches or other sources of distinction, 
have extraordinary influence and numerous [adherents.] f — 
By debauching the Military force, by surprising some com- 
manding citadel, or by some other sudden and unforeseen 
movement, the fate of the Republic is decided. — But in Re- 
publics of large extent, usurpation can scarcely make its 
way through these avenues. — The powers and opportunities 
of resistance of a wide extended and numerous nation, defy 
the successful efforts of the ordinary Military force, or of 
any collections which wealth and patronage may call to their 
aid. — In such Republics, it is safe to assert, that the conflicts 
of popular factions are the chief, if not the only inlets, of 
usurpation and Tyranny 

* order f retainers 

448 U/orl^s of U/as^ip^tor) Iruip^ 

sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissen- 
sion, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated 
the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. 
But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent 
despotism. — The disorders and miseries, which result, grad- 
ually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose 
in the absolute power of an Individual : and sooner or later 
the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more 
fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the 
purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty. 

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind 
(which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), 
the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of Party 
are sufficient to make it the interest and the duty of a wise 
People to discourage and restrain it. — 

It serves always to distract the Public Councils and en- 
feeble the Public administration. — It agitates the community 
with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the ani- 
mosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot 
and insurrection. — It opens the door to foreign influence and 
corruption, which find a facilitated access [to the Govern- 
ment itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the 
policy and the will of one country, are subjected to the policy 
and the will of another.] * 

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are use- 
ful checks upon the Administration of the Government, and 
serve to keep alive the Spirit of Liberty. — This within cer- 
tain limits is probably true — and in Governments of a Mo- 
narchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not 
with favour, upon the spirit of party. — But in those of the 
popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a 
spirit not to be encouraged. — From their natural tendency, 
it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for 

* through the channels of party passions. It frequently 
subjects the policy of our own country to the policy of some 
foreign country, and even enslaves the will of our Govern- 
ment to the will of some foreign Government. 

Cife of U/asl?ii}<$toi) 449 

every salutary purpose, — and there being constant danger 
of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, 
to mitigate and assuage it. — A fire not to be quenched; it 
demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into 
a flame, lest, [instead of warming, it should] * consume. — 

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in 
a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with 
its administration, to confine themselves within their respect- 
ive constitutional spheres; avoiding in the exercise of the 
powers of one department to encroach upon another. — The 
spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of 
all the departments in one, and thus to create, [f ] whatever 
[the form of government, a real] I despotism. — A just esti- 
mate of that love of power, and [§] proneness to abuse it, 
which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to 
satisfy us of the truth of this position. — The necessity of 
reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by divid- 
ing and distributing it into different depositories, and con- 
stituting each the Guardian of the Public Weal [against] | 
invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments 
ancient and modern ; some of them in our country and under 
our own eyes. — To preserve them must be as necessary as 
to institute them. — If in the opinion of the People, the dis- 
tribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in 
any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment 
in the way which the Constitution designates. — But let there 
be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, 
may be the instrument of good, it is the [customary]!" 
weapon by which free governments are destroyed. — The 
precedent [**] must always greatly overbalance in permanent 
evil any partial or [transient] ff benefit which the use [J J] 
can at any time yield. — 

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political 

* it should not only warm, but f under 

t forms, a § the | from 

1 usual and natural ** of its use 

ft temporary \\ itself 

450 U/orl^s of U/a8fyii)$toi) Irvir>$ 

prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. 
— In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, 
who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human 
happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citi- 
zens. — The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, 
ought to respect and to cherish them. — A volume could not 
trace all their connections with private and public felicity.— 
Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, 
for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation 
desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation 
in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the 
supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. 
— Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined edu- 
cation on minds of peculiar structure — reason and experience 
both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail 
in exclusion of religious principle. — 

'Tis substantially true that virtue or morality is a neces- 
sary spring of popular government. — The rule indeed extends 
with more or less force to every species of Free Government. 
—Who that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indiffer- 
ence upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric? — 

[Promote then as an object of primary importance, insti- 
tutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. — In propor- 
tion as the structure of a government gives force to public 
opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlight- 
ened.] — * 

* Cultivate industry and frugality, as auxiliaries to good 
morals and sources of private and public prosperity. — Is there 
not room to regret that our propensity to expense exceeds 
our means for it? Is there not more luxury among us and 
more diffusively, than suits the actual stage of our national 
progress? Whatever may be the apology for luxury in a 
country, mature in the Arts which are its ministers, and the 
cause of national opulence — can it promote the advantage 
of a young country, almost wholly agricultural, in the infancy 
of the Arts, and certainly not in the maturity of wealth? 

(Over this paragraph in the original a piece of paper is wa 
fered, on which the passage is written, as printed in the text.) 

Cife of U/asl?ir)$toi) 451 

As a very important source of strength and security, 
cherish public credit. — One method of preserving it is to use 
it as [sparingly] * as possible: — avoiding occasions of expense 
by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely dis- 
bursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much 
greater disbursements to repel it — avoiding likewise the 
accumulation of debt, not only by [shunning] \ occasions 
of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of Peace to 
discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occa- 
sioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen 
which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these 
maxims belongs to your Representatives, but it is necessary 
that public opinion should [co-operate.] \ — To facilitate to 
them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you 
should practically bear in mind, that toward the payment 
of debts there must be Revenue — that to have Revenue there 
must be taxes — that no taxes can be devised which are not 
more or less inconvenient and unpleasant — that the intrinsic 
embarrassment inseparable from the selection of the proper 
objects (which is always a choice of difficulties) ought to be 
a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct 
of the Government in making it, and for a spirit of acquies- 
cence in the measures for obtaining Revenue which the public 
exigencies may at any time dictate. — 

Observe good faith and justice toward all Nations. [§J 
Cultivate peace and harmony with all. — Religion and moral- 
ity enjoin this conduct; and can it be that good policy does 
not equally enjoin it? — It will be worthy of a free, enlight- 
ened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, to give to 
mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a Peo- 
ple always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. — 
Who can doubt but that in the course of time and things, 

* little f avoiding \ coincide 

§ and cultivate peace and harmony with all, for in public 
as well as in private transactions, I am persuaded that hon- 
esty will always be found to be the best policy. 

452 U/orl^s of U/asl?ii)$toi) Irvir>$ 

the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary 
advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? 
Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent 
felicity of a Nation with its virtue? The experiment, at 
least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles 
human nature. — Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices? 

In the execution of such a plan nothing is more essential 
than that [permanent, inveterate] * antipathies against par- 
ticular nations and passionate attachments for others should 
be excluded; and that in place of them just and amicable 
feelings toward all should be cultivated. — The Nation, which 
indulges toward another [an] f habitual hatred or [an] J 
habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave 
to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient 
to lead it astray from its duty and its interests. — Antipathy 
in one Nation against another [§] disposes each more readily 
to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of um- 
brage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental 
or trifling occasions of dispute occur. — Hence frequent colli- 
sions, obstinate, envenomed and bloody contests. — The Na- 
tion prompted by ill-will and resentment sometimes impels to 
"War the Government, contrary to [the best] || calculations 
of policy. The Government sometimes participates in the 
[national] propensity, and adopts through passion what rea- 
son would reject; — at other times it makes the animosity of 
the Nation subservient to projects of hostility, instigated by 
pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. — 
The peace, often sometimes perhaps the Liberty, of Nations 
has been the victim. — 

So likewise a passionate attachment of one Nation for an- 
other produces a variety of evils. — Sympathy for the favour- 
ite nation facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common 
interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and 

* rooted fa J a 

§ begets of course a similar sentiment in that other 
|| its own 

Cife of U/asfyiD^top 453 

infusing into one [*] the enmities of the other, betrays the 
former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the 
latter, without adequate inducement or justification : It leads 
also to concessions to the favourite Nation of privileges denied 
to others, which is apt doubly to injure the Nation making 
the concessions; [f] by unnecessarily parting with what 
ought to have been retained, [J] and by exciting jealousy, 
ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate in the parties from 
whom equal privileges are withheld ; and it gives to ambi- 
tious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves 
to the favourite Nation) facility to betray, or sacrifice the in- 
terests of their own country without odium, sometimes even 
with popularity -.—gilding with the appearances of a virtuous 
sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public 
opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or fool- 
ish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation. — 

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, 
such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly en- 
lightened and independent patriot. — How many opportunities 
do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice 
the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence 
or awe the public councils! — Such an attachment of a small 
and weak, toward a great and powerful nation, dooms the 
former to be the satellite of the latter. 

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, [I con- 
jure you to] believe me, [fellow citizens], § the jealousy of 
a free people ought to be [constantly] || awake, since history 
and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the 
most baneful foes of Republican Government. — But that 
jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the 
instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a 
defense against it. — Excessive partiality for one foreign na- 
tion and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they 
actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and 

* another f lstly \ 2dly 

§ my friends, | incessantly 

454 U/or^s of U/asfyio^tOD Iruip$ 

even second the arts of influence on the other. — Real Patri- 
ots, who may resist the intrigues of the favourite, are liable 
to become suspected and odious ; while its tools and dupes 
usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender 
their interests. — 

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to Foreign 
Nations is, [in extending our commercial relations,] to have 
with them as little Political connection as possible. So far 
as we have already formed engagements let; them be fulfilled 
with [*] perfect good faith. — Here let us stop. — 

Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have 
none, or a very remote relation. — Hence she must be en- 
gaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are 
essentially foreign to our concerns. — Hence therefore it must 
be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by [f] artificial [ties] J 
in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, [or] § the ordinary 
combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities. 

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us 
to pursue a different course. — If we remain one People, un- 
der an efficient government, the period is not far off, when 
we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when 
we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we 
may at any time resolve [upon] | to be scrupulously respected. 
— When [T] belligerent nations, under the impossibility- of 
making acquisitions upon us, will [not] lightly hazard the 
giving us provocation [**] ; when we may choose peace or 
war, as our interest guided by [ft] justice shall counsel. — 

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? — 
Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? — Why, by 
interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, 
entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European 
ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice? — 

'Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alli- 

* circumspection indeed, but with f an J connection 
§ in | to observe T neither of two 

** to throw our weight into the opposite scale 4f our 

Cife of U/as^ip^tor) 455 

ances [*] with any portion of the foreign world;— so far, 
I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it — for let me not 
be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to [exist- 
ing] f engagements, ([I hold the maxim no less applicable to 
public than to private affairs] J, that honesty is [always] 
the best policy). — [I repeat it therefore let those engage- 
ments] § be observed in their genuine sense. — But in my 
opinion it is unnecessary, and would be unwise to extend 
them. — 

Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable estab- 
lishments, on a respectably defensive posture, we may safely 
trust to [temporary] || alliances for extraordinary emer- 

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recom- 
mended by policy, humanity and interest. — But even our com- 
mercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand : — 
neither seeking nor granting exclusive favours or prefer- 
ences; — consulting the natural course of things; — diffusing 
and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, 
but forcing nothing ; — establishing with Powers so disposed — 
in order to give to trade a stable course, to define the rights of 
our Merchants and to enable the Government to support them 
— conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present cir- 
cumstances and mutual opinion will permit; but temporary, 
and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as ex- 
perience and circumstances shall dictate ; constantly keeping 
in view that 'tis folly in one nation to look for disinterested 
favours [from] 1" another, — that it must pay with a portion of 
its independence for whatever it may accept under that char- 
acter — that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the con- 
dition of having given equivalents for nominal favours and yet 
of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. — 


intimate connections f pre-existing 

X for I hold it to be as true in public as in private 

§ those must J occasional 1" at 

456 U/orl^s of U/asl?ir)$toi) Irvii)©; 

There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate 
upon real favours from Nation to Nation. — 'Tis an illusion 
which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to 

In offering to you, my Countrymen, these counsels of an 
old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make 
the strong and lasting impression, I could wish, — that they 
will controul the usual current of the passions or prevent our 
Nation from running the course which has hitherto marked 
the destiny of Nations. — But if I may even flatter myself, 
that they may be productive of some partial benefit ; some 
occasional good ; that they may now and then recur to mod- 
erate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs 
of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pre- 
tended patriotism, this hope will be a full recompense for 
the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been 
dictated. — 

How far, in the discharge of my official duties, I have 
been guided by the principles which have been delineated, 
the public Records and other evidences of my conduct must 
witness to You, and to the "World. — To myself, the assur- 
ance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed 
myself to be guided by them. 

In relation to the still subsisting "War in Europe, my Proc- 
lamation of the 22d of April, 1793, is the index to my plan. — 
Sanctioned by your approving voice and by that of Your Rep- 
resentatives in both Houses of Congress, the spirit of that 
measure has continually governed me : — uninfluenced by any 
attempts to deter or divert me from it. 

After deliberate examination with the aid of the best 
lights I could obtain, [*] I was well satisfied that our coun- 
try, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to 
take, and was bound in duty and interest to take a Neutral 
position. — Having taken it, I determined, as far as should 

(* and from men disagreeing in their impressions of the 
origin, progress, and nature of that war,) 

Cife of U/a8^ii)<$toi) 457 

depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, persever- 
ance and firmness. — 

[The considerations which respect the right to hold this 
conduct, [it is not necessary] * on this occasion [to detail.] I 
will only observe, that according to my understanding of the 
matter, that right, so far from being denied by the Belliger- 
ent Powers, has been virtually admitted by all. — ]f 

The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, 
without anything more, from the obligation which justice 
and humanity impose on every Nation, in cases in which it 
is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of Peace 
and Amity toward other Nations. 

The inducements of interest for observing that conduct, 
will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. 

With me, a predominant motive has been to endeavor to 

gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent 
institutions, and to progress without interruption to that de- 
gree of strength and consistency, which is necessary to give 
it, humanely speaking, the command of its own fortunes. 

* some of them of a delicate nature, would be improperly 
the subject of explanation. 

f The considerations which respect the right to hold this 
conduct, some of them of a delicate nature, would be improp- 
erly the subject of explanation on this occasion. I will barely 
observe that according to my understanding of the matter, 
that right, so far from being denied by any belligerent Power, 
has been virtually admitted by all. — 

This paragraph is then erased from the word " conduct," 
and the following sentence interlined, "would be improperly 
the subject of particular discussion on this occasion. I will 
barely observe that to me they appear to be warranted by 
well-established principles of the Laws of Nations as appli- 
cable to the nature of our alliance with France in connection 
with the circumstances of the War, and the relative situation 
of the contending Parties." 

A piece of paper is afterward waf ered over both, on which 
the paragraph as it stands in the text is written, and on the 
margin is the following note: "This is the first draft, and it 
is questionable which of the two is to be preferred." 

Vol. XV.—* * * 20 

468 U/orl{8 of UVa8f?ii)<$ton Irv/!o$ 

Though in reviewing the incidents of my Administration, 
I am unconscious of intentional error — I am nevertheless too 
sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I [may] 
have committed many errors. — [Whatever they may be 1] * 
fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate [the evils 
to which they may tend.] \ — I shall also carry with me the 
hope that my country will never cease to view them with in- 
dulgence ; and that after forty-five years of my life dedicated 
to its service, with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent 
abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be 
to the mansions of rest. [J] 

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and 
actuated by that fervent love toward it, which is so natural 
to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his 
progenitors for [several] § generations ; — I anticipate with 
pleasing expectation that retreat, in which I promise myself 
to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, 
in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of 

* I deprecate the evils to which they may tend, and 

f them 

X May I without the charge of ostentation add, that 
neither ambition nor interest has been the impelling cause of 
my actions— that I have never designedly misused any power 
confided to me nor hesitated to use one, where I thought it 
could redound to your benefit? May I without the appear- 
ance of affectation say, that the fortune with which I came 
into office is not bettered otherwise than by the improvement 
in the value of property which the quick progress and un- 
common prosperity of our country have produced? May I 
still further add without breach of delicacy, that I shall re- 
tire without cause for a blush, with no sentiments alien to 
the force of those vows for the happiness of his country so 
natural to a citizen who sees in it the native soil of his pro- 
genitors and himself for four generations? 

On the margin opposite this paragraph is the following 
note: "This paragraph may have the appearance of self-dis- 
trust and mere vanity." 

§ four 

Cife of U/asl?in<$tOQ 459 

good Laws under a free Government, — the ever favourite 
object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our 
mutual cares, labours and dangers.' 


United States, / 17 qa 
19th September, S v 

Go. Washington. 




Mr. Speaker— 

The melancholy event, which was yesterday announced 
with doubt, has been rendered but too certain. Our Wash- 
ington is no more ! The hero, the patriot, and the sage of 
America; the man on whom in times of danger every eye 
was turned and all hopes were placed, lives now only in his 
own great actions, and in the hearts of an affectionate and 
afflicted people. 

If, Sir, it had even not been usual openly to testify respect 
for the memory of those whom Heaven has selected as its in- 
struments for dispensing good to man, yet such has been the 
uncommon worth, and such the extraordinary incidents which 

* The paragraph beginning with the words, "May 1 with- 
out the charge of ostentation add," having been struck out, 
the following note is written on the margin of that which is 
inserted in its place in the text : ' ' Continuation of the para- 
graph preceding the last ending with the word 'rest.' " 

f The intelligence of the death of Washington had been 
received the preceding day, and the House immediately ad- 
journed. The next morning Mr. Marshall addressed this 
speech to the House. 

460 U/orl^s of U/asl^ip^tOQ Iruir?$ 

have marked the life of him whose loss we all deplore, that 
the whole American nation, impelled by the same feelings, 
would call with one voice for a public manifestation of that 
sorrow, which is so deep and so universal. 

More than any other individual, and as much as to one 
individual was possible, has he contributed to found this our 
wide-spreading empire, and to give to the western world in- 
dependence and freedom. 

Having effected the great object for which he was placed 
at the head of our armies, we have seen him convert the 
sword into the plowshare, and sink the soldier in the citizen. 

When the debility of our federal system had become mani- 
fest, and the bonds which connected this vast continent were 
dissolving, we have seen him the chief of those patriots who 
formed for us a constitution, which, by preserving the union, 
will, I trust, substantiate and perpetuate those blessings which 
our Revolution had promised to bestow. 

In obedience to the general voice of his country, calling 
him to preside over a great people, we have seen him once 
more quit the retirement he loved, and, in a season more 
stormy and tempestuous than war itself, with calm and wise 
determination pursue the true interests of the nation, and 
contribute, more than any other could contribute, to the 
establishment of that system of policy which will, I trust, 
yet preserve our peace, our honor, and our independence. 

Having been twice unanimously chosen the chief magis- 
trate of a free people, we have seen him, at a time when his 
re-election with universal suffrage could not be doubted, 
afford to the world a rare instance of moderation, by with- 
drawing from his station to the peaceful walks of private life. 

However the public confidence may change, and the pub- 
lic affections fluctuate with respect to others, with respect to 
him they have, in war and in peace, in public and in private 
life, been as steady as his own firm mind, and as constant as 
his own exalted virtues. 

Let us, then, Mr. Speaker, pay the last tribute of respect 
and affection to our departed friend. Let the grand council 

Cife of lI/a8l?ii?<$toi) 461 

of the nation display those sentiments which the nation feels. 
For this purpose I hold in my hand some resolutions, which 
I take the liberty of offering to the House. 

.Resolved, That this House will wait on the President, in 
condolence of this mournful event. 

Resolved, That the Speaker's chair be shrouded with 
black, and that the members and officers of the House wear 
black during the session. 

Resolved, That a committee, in conjunction with one 
from the Senate, be appointed to consider on the most suit- 
able manner of paying honor to the memory of the man, 
first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his 



23 December, 1799 


The Senate of the United States respectfully take leave 

to express to you their deep regret for the loss their country 

sustains in the death of General George "Washington. 

This event, so distressing to all our fellow-citizens, must 
be peculiarly heavy to you, who have long been associated 
with him in deeds of patriotism. Permit us, Sir, to mingle 
our tears with yours. On this occasion it is manly to weep. 
To lose such a man, at such a crisis, is no common calamity 
to the world. Our country mourns a father. The Almighty 
Disposer of human events has taken from us our greatest 
benefactor and ornament. It becomes us to submit with rev- 
erence to Him "who maketh darkness His pavilion." 

With patriotic pride we review the life of our Washing- 
ton, and compare him with those of other countries who have 
been pre-eminent in fame. Ancient and modern times are 
diminished before him. Greatness and guilt have too often 
been allied ; but his fame is whiter than it is brilliant. The 
destroyers of nations stood abashed at the majesty of his 

462 U/or^s of U/asl?in$ton Irvfn$ 

virtues. It reproved the intemperance of their ambition, 
and darkened the splendor of victory. The scene is closed, 
and we are no longer anxious lest misfortune should sully 
his glory; he has traveled on to the end of his journey, and 
carried with him an increasing weight of honor; he has de- 
posited it safely, where misfortune cannot tarnish it, where 
malice cannot blast it. Favored of Heaven, he departed 
without exhibiting the weakness of humanity. Magnani- 
mous in death, the darkness of the grave could not obscure 
his brightness. 

Such was the man whom we deplore. Thanks to God, 
his glory is consummated. Washington yet lives on earth 
in his spotless example ; his spirit is in Heaven. 

Let his countrymen consecrate the memory of the heroic 
general, the patriotic statesman, and the virtuous sage. Let 
them teach their children never to forget that the fruits of 
his labors and his example are their inheritance. 


23 December. 1799 
Gentlemen of the Senate — 

I receive with the most respectful and affectionate senti- 
ments, in this impressive address, the obliging expressions 
of your regret for the loss our country has sustained in the 
death of her most esteemed, beloved, and admired citizen. 

In the multitude of niy thoughts and recollections on this 
melancholy event, you will permit me to say that I have seen 
him in the days of adversity, in some of the scenes of his 
deepest distress and most trying perplexities. I have also 
attended him in his highest elevation and most prosperous 
felicity, with uniform admiration of his wisdom, moderation, 
and constancy. 

Among all our original associates in that memorable league 
of this continent, in 1774, which first expressed the sovereign 
will of a free nation in America, he was the only one remain- 

Cife of U/asl?in<$ton 463 

ing in the general government. Although with a constitu- 
tion more enfeebled than his, at an age when he thought it 
necessary to prepare for retirement, I feel myself alone, be- 
reaved of my last brother, yet I derive a strong consolation 
from the unanimous disposition which appears in all ages 
and classes, to mingle their sorrows with mine on this com- 
mon calamity to the world. 

The life of our "Washington cannot suffer by a compari- 
son with those of other countries who have been most cele- 
brated and exalted by fame. The attributes and decorations 
of royalty could only have served to eclipse the majesty of 
those virtues which made him, from being a modest citizen, 
a more resplendent luminary. Misfortune, had he lived, 
could hereafter have sullied his glory only with those super- 
ficial minds, who, believing that character and actions are 
marked by success alone, rarely deserve to enjoy it. Malice 
could never blast his honor, and envy made him a singular 
exception to her universal rule. For himself, he had lived 
long enough to life and to glory ; for his fellow-citizens, if 
their prayers could have been answered, he would have been 
immortal; for me, his departure is at a most unfortunate 
moment. Trusting, however, in the wise and righteous do- 
minion of Providence over the passions of men and the re- 
sults of their actions, as well as over their lives, nothing 
remains for me but humble resignation. 

His example is now complete; and it will teach wisdom 
and virtue to magistrates, citizens, and men, not only in the 
present age, but in future generations, as long as our history 
shall be read. If a Trajan found a Pliny, a Marcus Aurelius 
can never want biographers, eulogists, or historians. 

John Adams. 

46-i U/or^s of U/a8l?ir}<$tor) Irving 



December 23d. Resolved, by the Senate and House of 
Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress 
assembled, That a marble monument be erected by the United 
States at the Capitol of the city of Washington, and that the 
family of General "Washington be requested to permit his 
body to be deposited under it, and that the monument be so 
designed as to commemorate the great events of his military 
and political life. 

And be it further resolved, That there be a funeral pro- 
cession from Congress Hall to the German Lutheran Church, 
in memory of General George Washington, on Thursday, the 
26th instant, and that an oration be prepared at the request 
of Congress, to be delivered before both Houses that day; 
and that the President of the Senate, and Speaker of the 
House of Representatives, be desired to request one of the 
Members of Congress to prepare and deliver the same. 

And be it further resolved, That it be recommended to 
the people of the United States to wear crape on their left 
arm, as mourning, for thirty days. 

And be it further resolved, That the President of the 
United States be requested to direct a copy of these resolu- 
tions to be transmitted to Mrs. Washington, assuring her of 
the profound respect Congress will ever bear for her person 
and character, of their condolence on the late afflicting dis- 
pensation of Providence ; and entreating her assent to the 
interment of the remains of General Washington in the man- 
ner expressed in the first resolution. 

Resolved, That the President of the United States be re- 
quested to issue his proclamation, notifying to the people 
throughout the United States the recommendation contained 
in the third resolution. 

December 30th. Resolved, That it be recommended to 
the people of the United States to assemble, on the twenty- 

Cife of U/asfyfp^tor) 465 

second day of February next, in such numbers and manner 
as may be convenient, publicly to testify their grief for the 
death of General George Washington, by suitable eulogies, 
orations, and discourses, or by public prayers. 

And it is further resolved. That the President be re- 
quested to issue a proclamation for the purpose of carrying 
the foregoing resolution into effect. 


In the Name of God, Amen: 

I, George Washington, of Mount Vernon, a citizen of 
the United States, and lately President of the same, do make, 
ordain, and declare this instrument, which is written with 
my own hand, and every page thereof subscribed with my 
name,* to be my last Will and Testament, revoking all 

Imprimis. — All my debts, of which there are but few, 
and none of magnitude, are to be punctually and speedily 
paid, and the legacies herein after bequeathed are to be dis- 
charged as soon as circumstances will permit, and in the 
manner directed. 

Item. — To my dearly beloved wife, Martha Washing- 
ton, I give and bequeath the use, profit, and benefit of my 
whole estate real and personal, for the term of her natural 
life, except such parts thereof as are specially disposed of 
hereafter. My improved lot in the town of Alexandria, situ- 
ated on Pitt and Cameron streets, I give to her and her heirs 
forever ; as I also do my household and kitchen furniture of 
every sort and kind, with the liquors and groceries which 
may be on hand at the time of my decease, to be used and 
disposed of as she may think proper. 

* In the original manuscript, George Washington's 
name was written at the bottom of every page. 

466 U/orl^s of U/asbio^too Jrvii}$ 

Item. — Upon the decease of my wife, it is my will and 
desire that all the slaves whom I hold in my own right shall 
receive their freedom. To emancipate them during her life 
would, though earnestly wished by me, be attended with 
such insuperable difficulties, on account of their intermixture 
by marriage with the dower negroes, as to excite the most 
painful sensations, if not disagreeable consequences to the 
latter, while both descriptions are in the occupancy of the 
same proprietor ; it not being in my power, under the tenure 
by which the dower negroes are held, to manumit them. 
And whereas, among those who will receive freedom accord- 
ing to this device, there may be some, who, from old age or 
bodily infirmities, and others who, on account of their in- 
fancy, will be unable to support themselves, it is my will 
and desire, that all who come under the first and second de- 
scription, shall be comfortably clothed and fed by my heirs 
while they live ; and that such of the latter description as 
have no parents living, or, if living, are unable or unwilling 
to provide for them, shall be bound by the court until they 
shall arrive at the age of twenty-five years; and in cases 
where no record can be produced, whereby their ages can 
be ascertained, the judgment of the court, upon its own view 
of the subject, shall be adequate and final. The negroes thus 
bound are (by their masters or mistresses) to be taught to 
read and write, and to be brought up to some useful occupa- 
tion, agreeable to the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 
providing for the support of orphan and other poor children. 
And I do hereby expressly forbid the sale or transportation 
out of the said Commonwealth, of any slave I may die pos- 
sessed of, under any pretense whatsoever. And I do, more- 
over, most pointedly and most solemnly enjoin it upon my 
executors hereafter named, or the survivors of them, to see 
that this clause respecting slaves, and every part thereof, be 
religiously fulfilled at the epoch at which it is directed to 
take place, without evasion, neglect, or delay, after the crops 
which may then be on the ground are harvested, particularly 
as it respects the aged and infirm ; seeing that a regular and 

Cife of Urasl?ii)<$t09 467 

permanent fund be established for their support, as long as 
there are subjects requiring it ; not trusting to the uncertain 
provision to be made by individuals. And to my mulatto 
man, William, calling himself William Lee, I give imme- 
diate freedom, or, if he should prefer it (on account of the 
accidents which have befallen him, and which have rendered 
him incapable of walking, or of any active employment), to 
remain in the situation he now is, it shall be optional in him 
to do so; in either case, however, I allow him an annuity of 
thirty dollars, during his natural life, which shall be inde- 
pendent of the victuals and clothes he has been accustomed 
to receive, if he chooses the last alternative ; but in full with 
his freedom, if he prefers the first ; and this I give him as a 
testimony of my sense of his attachment to me, and for his 
faithful services during the Revolutionary war. 

Item. — To the trustees (governors, or by whatsoever other 
name they may be designated) of the Academy in the town 
of Alexandria, I give and bequeath, in trust, four thousand 
dollars, or in other words, twenty of the shares which I hold 
in the Bank of Alexandria, toward the support of a free 
school, established at and annexed to, the said Academy, for 
the purpose of educating such orphan children, or the chil- 
dren of such other poor and indigent persons, who are unable 
to accomplish it with their own means, and who, in the judg- 
ment of the trustees of the said seminary, are best entitled 
to the benefit of this donation. The aforesaid twenty shares 
I give and bequeath in perpetuity; the dividends only of 
which are to be drawn for and applied, by the said trustees 
for the time being, for the uses above mentioned; the stock 
to remain entire and untouched, unless indications of failure 
of the said bank should be so apparent, or a discontinuance 
thereof should render a removal of this fund necessary. In 
either of these cases, the amount of the stock here devised 
is to be vested in some other bank or public institution, 
whereby the interest may with regularity and certainty be 
drawn and applied as above. And to prevent misconception, 
my meaning is, and is hereby declared to be, that these 

468 U/orl^s of U/asl?ir)$toi) Irvino; 

twenty shares are in lieu of, and not in addition to, the thou- 
sand pounds given by a missive letter some years ago, in 
consequence whereof an annuity of fifty pounds has since 
been paid toward the support of this institution. 

Item. — Whereas, by a law of the Commonwealth of Vir- 
ginia, enacted in the year 1785, the Legislature thereof was 
pleased, as an evidence of its approbation of the services I 
had rendered the public during the Revolution, and partly, 
I believe, in consideration of my having suggested the vast 
advantages which the community would derive from the 
extension of its inland navigation under legislative patron- 
age, to present me with one hundred shares of one hundred 
dollars each, in the incorporated Company, established for 
the purpose of extending the navigation of James River from 
the tide water to the mountains ; and also with fifty shares 
of £100 sterling each, in the corporation of another company, 
likewise established for the similar purpose of opening the 
navigation of the River Potomac from the tide water to Fort 
Cumberland ; the aceptance of which, although the offer was 
highly honorable and grateful to my feelings, was refused, 
as inconsistent with a principle which I had adopted and had 
never departed from, viz. , not to receive pecuniary compensa- 
tion for any services I could render my country in its arduous 
struggle with Great Britain for its rights, and because I had 
evaded similar propositions from other States in the Union; 
adding to this refusal, however, an intimation, that, if it 
should be the pleasure of the Legislature to permit me to 
appropriate the said shares to public uses, I would receive 
them on those terms with due sensibility ; and this it having 
consented to in flattering terms, as will appear by a subse- 
quent law, and sundry resolutions, in the most ample and 
honorable manner; — I proceed, after this recital, for the 
more correct understanding of the case, to declare: that, 
as it has always been a source of serious regret with me, to 
see the youth of these United States sent to foreign countries 
for the purpose of education, often before their minds were 
formed, or they had imbibed any adequate ideas of the happi- 

Cife of Ufas\)ir)$tOT) 469 

ness of their own ; contracting too frequently, not only habits 
of dissipation and extravagance, but principles unfriendly 
to republican government, and to the true and genuine lib- 
erties of mankind, which thereafter are rarely overcome; 
for these reasons it has been my ardent wish to see a plan 
devised on a liberal scale, which would have a tendency to 
spread systematic ideas through all parts of this rising em- 
pire, thereby to do away local attachments and State preju- 
dices, as far as the nature of things would, or indeed ought 
to admit, from our national councils. Looking anxiously 
forward to the accomplishment of so desirable an object 
as this is (in my estimation), my mind has not been able 
to contemplate any plan more likely to effect the measure 
than the establishment of a University in a central part 
of the United States, to which the youths of fortune and 
talents from all parts thereof may be sent for the completion 
of their education, in all the branches of polite literature, 
in arts and sciences, in acquiring knowledge in the principles 
of politics and good government, and, as a matter of infinite 
importance in my judgment, by associating with each other 
and forming friendships in juvenile years, be enabled to 
free themselves in a proper degree from those local preju- 
dices and habitual jealousies which have just been mentioned, 
and which, when carried to excess, are never-failing sources 
of disquietude to the public mind, and pregnant of mischiev- 
ous consequences to this country. Under these impressions, 
so fully dilated, 

Item. — I give and bequeath, in perpetuity, the fifty shares 
which I hold in the Potomac company (under the aforesaid 
acts of the Legislature of Virginia), toward the endowment 
of a University, to be established within the limits of the 
District of Columbia, under the auspices of the general gov- 
ernment, if that government should incline to extend a foster- 
ing hand toward it ; and, until such seminary is established, 
and the funds arising on these shares shall be required for 
its support, my further will and desire is, that the profit 
accruing therefrom shall, whenever the dividends are made, 

470 U/orl^s of U/asl?ir}$tor} Irving 

be laid out in purchasing stock in the bank of Columbia, or 
some other bank, at the discretion of my executors, or by the 
Treasurer of the United States for the time being under 
the direction of Congress, provided that honorable body 
should patronize the measure ; and the dividends proceeding 
from the purchase of such stock are to be vested in more 
stock, and so on, until a sum adequate to the accomplish- 
ment of the object is obtained; of which I have not the 
smallest doubt, before many years pass away, even if no 
aid or encouragement is given by the legislative authority, 
or from any other source. 

Item. — The hundred shares which I hold in the James 
River Company, I have given and now confirm in perpetuity, 
to and for the use and benefit of Liberty Hall Academy, 
in the County of Rockbridge in the Commonwealth of Vir- 

Item. — I release, exonerate, and discharge the estate of 
my deceased brother, Samuel Washington, from the pay- 
ment of the money which is due to me for the land I sold 
to Philip Pendleton (lying in the county of Berkeley), who 
assigned the same to him, the said Samuel, who by agree- 
ment was to pay me therefor. And whereas, by some con- 
tract (the purport of which was never communicated to me) 
between the said Samuel and his son, Thornton Washing- 
ton, the latter became possessed of the aforesaid land, with- 
out any conveyance having passed from me, either to the 
said Pendleton, the said Samuel, or the said Thornton, and 
without any consideration having been made, by which 
neglect neither the legal nor equitable title has been alien- 
ated; it rests therefore with me to declare my intentions 
concerning the premises ; and these are, to give and bequeath 
the said land to whomsoever the said Thornton Washington 
(who is also dead) devised the same, or to his heirs forever, 
if he died intestate ; exonerating the estate of the said Thorn- 
ton, equally with that of the said Samuel, from payment 
of the purchase money, which, with interest, agreeably to 
the original contract with the said Pendleton, would amount 

Cife of U/as^iD^top 471 

to more than a thousand pounds. And whereas two other 
sons of my said deceased brother Samuel , namely, George 
Steptoe Washington, and Lawrence Augustine Washing- 
ton, were, by the decease of those to whose care they were 
committed, brought under my protection, and, in conse- 
quence, have occasioned advances on my part for their edu- 
cation at college and other schools, for their board, clothing, 
and other incidental expenses, to the amount of near five 
thousand dollars, over and above the sums furnished by their 
estate, which sum it may be inconvenient for them or their 
father's estate to refund; I do for these reasons acquit them 
and the said estate from the payment thereof, my intention 
being, that all accounts between them and me, and their 
father's estate and me, shall stand balanced. 

Item. — The balance due to me from the estate of Barthol- 
omew Dandridge, deceased (my wife's brother), and which 
amounted on the first day of October, 1795, to four hundred 
and twenty-five pounds (as will appear by an account ren- 
dered by his deceased son, John Dandridge, who was the 
acting executor of his father's will), I release and acquit 
from the payment thereof. And the negroes, then thirty- 
three in number, formerly belonging to the said estate, who 
were taken in execution, sold, and purchased in on my ac- 
count, in the year (blank), and ever since have remained 
in the possession and to the use of Mary, widow of the said 
Bartholomew Dandridge, with their increase, it is my will 
and desire shall continue and be in her possession, without 
paying hire, or making compensation for the same for the 
time past, or to come, during her natural life; at the expira- 
tion of which, I direct that all of them who are forty years 
old and upward shall receive their freedom; and all under 
that age, and above sixteen, shall serve seven years and no 
longer; and all under sixteen years shall serve until they 
are twenty-five years of age, and then be free. And, to 
avoid disputes respecting the ages of any of these negroes, 
they are to be taken into the court of the county in which 
they reside, and the judgment thereof, in this relation, shall 

472 U/orl^s of U/asr;io<$tor; Irvir?<$ 

be final and record thereof made, which may be adduced 
as evidence at any time thereafter if disputes should arise 
concerning the same. And I further direct, that the heirs 
of the said Bartholomew Dandridge shall equally share the 
benefits arising from the services of the said negroes accord- 
ing to the tenor of this device, upon the decease of their 

Item. — If Charles Carter, who intermarried with my 
niece Betty Lewis, is not sufficiently secured in the title 
to the lots he had of me in the town of Fredericksburg, it 
is my will and desire that my executors shall make such 
conveyances of them as the law requires to render it perfect. 

Item. — To my nephew, William Augustine Washing- 
ton, and his heirs (if he should conceive them to be objects 
worth prosecuting), a lot in the town of Manchester (opposite 
to Richmond), No. 265, drawn on my sole account, and also 
the tenth of one or two hundred acre lots, and two or three 
half -acre lots, in the city and vicinity of Richmond, drawn 
in partnership with nine others, all in the lottery of the de- 
ceased William Byrd, are given; as is also a lot which 
I purchased of John Hood, conveyed by William Willie 
and Samuel Cordon, trustees of the said John Hood, num- 
bered 139, in the town of Edinburgh, in the County of Prince 
George, State of Virginia. 

Item. — To my nephew, Bushrod Washington* I give 
and bequeath all the papers in my possession which relate 
to my civil and military administration of the affairs of this 
country. I leave to him also such of my private papers as 
are worth preserving; and at the decease of my wife, and 
before, if she is not inclined to retain them, I give and be- 
queath my library of books and pamphlets of every kind. 

Item. — Having sold lands which I possessed in the State 

* As General "Washington never had any children, he 
gave the larger part of his property to his nephews and 
nieces, and the children of Mrs. "Washington's son by her 
first marriage. The principal heir was Bushrod Washington, 
son of his brother John Augustine Washington. 

Cife of U/asl?i9<$toi) 473 

of Pennsylvania and part of a tract held .in equal right with 
George Clinton, late governor of New York, in the State 
of New York, my share of land and interest in the Great 
Dismal Swamp, and a tract of land which I owned in the 
County of Gloucester — withholding the legal titles thereto, 
until the consideration money should be paid — and having 
moreover leased and conditionally sold (as will appear by 
the tenor of the said leases) all my lands upon the Great 
Kenhawa, and a tract upon Difficult Run, in the County 
of Loudoun, it is my will and direction, that whensoever the 
contracts are fully and respectively complied with, according 
to the spirit, true intent, and meaning thereof, on the part 
of the purchasers, their heirs or assigns, that then, and in 
that case, conveyances are to be made, agreeable to the 
terms of the said contracts, and the money arising therefrom, 
when paid, to be vested in bank stock; the dividends whereof, 
as of that also which is already vested therein, are to inure 
to my said wife during her life; but the stock itself is to 
remain and be subject to the general distribution hereafter 

Item. — To the Earl of Buchan I recommit the "Box 
made of the Oak that sheltered the great Sir William Wal- 
lace, after the battle of Falkirk," presented to me by his 
Lordship, in terms too flattering for me to repeat, with a 
request "to pass it, on the event of my decease, to the man 
in my country who should appear to merit it best, upon the 
same conditions that have induced him to send it tome." 
"Whether easy or not to select the man, who might comport 
with his Lordship's opinion in this respect, is not for me to 
say ; but, conceiving that no disposition of this valuable curi- 
osity can be more eligible than the recommitment of it to his 
own cabinet, agreeably to the original design of the Gold* 
smiths' Company of Edinburgh, who presented it to him, 
and, at his request, consented that it should be transferred 
to me, I do give and bequeath the same to his Lordship; 
and, in case of his decease, to his heir, with my grateful 
thanks for the distinguished honor of presenting it to me, 

474 U/orl^s of U/as^ir><$tor) IruiQ<$ 

and more especially for the favorable sentiments with which 
he accompanied it. 

Item. — To my brother, Charles Washington, I give and 
bequeath the gold-headed cane left me by Dr. Franklin in 
his will. I add nothing to it, because of the ample provision 
I have made for his issue. To the acquaintances and friends 
of my juvenile years, Laivrence Washington and Robert 
Washington, of Chotanck, I give my other two gold-headed 
canes, having my arms engraved on them; and to each, as 
they will be useful where they live, I leave one of the spy- 
glasses, which constituted part of my equipage during the 
late war. To my compatriot in arms and old and intimate 
friend, Dr. Craik, I give my bureau (or, as the cabinet- 
makers call it, tambour secretary) and the circular chair, an 
appendage of my study. To Dr. David Stewart I give my 
large shaving and dressing table, and my telescope. To the 
Reverend, now Bryan, Lord Fairfax, I give a Bible, in 
three large folio volumes, with notes, presented to me by the 
Right Reverend Thomas Wilson, Bishop of Sodor and Man. 
To General de Lafayette I give a pair of finely-wrought 
steel pistols, taken from the enemy in the Revolutionary 
war. To my sisters-in-law, Hannah Washington and Mil- 
dred Washington, to my friends, Eleanor Stuart, Hannah 
Washington, of Fairfield, and Elizabeth Washington, of 
Hayfield, I give each a mourning ring, of the value of one 
hundred dollars. These bequests are not made for the in- 
trinsic value of them, but as mementos of my esteem and 
regard. To Tobias Lear I give the use of the farm, which 
he now holds in virtue of a lease from me to him and his 
deceased wife (for and during their natural lives), free from 
rent during his life ; at the expiration of which, it is to be 
disposed of as is hereinafter directed. To Sallie B. Haynie 
(a distant relation of mine), I give and bequeath three hun- 
dred dollars. To Sarah Green, daughter of the deceased 
Thomas Bishop, and to Ann Walker, daughter of John 
Alton, also deceased, I give each one hundred dollars, in 
consideration of the attachment of their fathers to me; each 

Cife of \JJa&tyr)$tOT) 475 

of whom having lived nearly forty years in my family. To 
each of my nephews, William Augustine Washington, 
George Lewis, George Steptoe Washington, Bushrod 
Washington, and Samuel Washington, I give one of the 
swords or couteaux, of which I may die possessed ; and they 
are to choose in the order they are named. These swords 
are accompanied with an injunction not to unsheathe them 
for the purpose of shedding blood, except it be for self defense 
or in defense of their country and its rights ; and in the latter 
case to keep them unsheathed, and prefer falling with them 
in their hands to the relinquishment thereof. 

And now, having gone through these specific devices, 
with explanations for the more correct understanding of the 
meaning and design of them, I proceed to the distribution 
of the more important part of my estate, in manner following : 

First. — To my nephew, Bushrod Washington, and his 
heirs (partly in consideration of an intimation to his deceased 
father, while we were bachelors, and he had kindly under- 
taken to superintend my estate during my militar} 7 " services 
in the former war between Great Britain and France, that, 
if I should fall therein, Mount Vernon, then less extensive 
in domain than at present, should become his property), I 
give and bequeath all that part thereof, which is compre- 
hended within the following limits; viz., Beginning at the 
ford of Dogue Run, near my Mill, and extending along 
the road, and bounded thereby, as it now goes, and ever has 
gone, since my recollection of it, to the ford of Little Hunt- 
ing Creek, at the Gum Spring, until it comes to a knoll 
opposite to an old road which formerly passed through the 
lower field of Muddy-Hole Farm; at which, on the north 
side of the said road, are three red or Spanish oaks, marked 
as a corner, and a stone placed; thence by a line of trees, 
to be marked rectangular, to the back line or outer boundary 
of the tract between Thomas Mason and myself; thence 
with that line easterly (now double ditching, with a post-and- 
rail fence thereon) to the run of Little Hunting Creek ; thence 
with that run, which is the boundary between the lands of 

476 U/or^s of U/asl?in$toi) Iruip$ 

the late Humphrey Peake and me, to the tide water of the 
said creek ; thence by that water to Potomac River ; thence 
with the river to the mouth of Dogue Creek ; and thence with 
the said Dogue Creek to the place of beginning at the afore- 
said ford ; containing upward of four thousand acres, be the 
same more or less, together with the mansion-house, and all 
other buildings and improvements thereon. 

Second. — In consideration of the consanguinity between 
them and my wife, being as nearly related to her as to my- 
self, as on account of the affection I had for, and the obliga- 
tion I was under to, their father when living, who from his 
youth had attached himself to my person, and followed my 
fortunes through the vicissitudes of the late Revolution, 
afterward devoting his time to the superintendence of my 
private concerns for many years, while my public employ- 
ments rendered it impracticable for me to do it myself, there- 
by affording me essential services, and always performing 
them in a manner the most filial and respectful; for these 
reasons, I say, I give and bequeath to George Fayette Wash- 
ington, and Lawrence Augustine Washington, and their 
heirs, my estate east of Little Hunting Creek, lying on the 
River Potomac, including the farm of three hundred and 
sixty acres, leased to Tobias Lear, as noticed before, and 
containing in the whole, by deed, two thousand and twenty- 
seven acres, be it more or less ; which said estate it is my 
will and desire should be equitably and advantageously 
divided between them, according to quantity, quality, and 
other circumstances, when the youngest shall have arrived 
at the age of twenty-one years, by three judicious and dis- 
interested men ; one to be chosen by each of the brothers, 
and the third by these two. In the meantime, if the termina- 
tion of my wife's interest therein should have ceased, the 
profits arising therefrom are to be applied for their joint uses 
and benefit. 

Third.— And whereas it has always been my intention, 
since my expectation of having issue has ceased, to consider 
the grandchildren of my wife in the same light as I do my 

Cife of U/asl?ir><$tor> 477 

own relations, and to act a friendly part by them ; more espe- 
cially by the two whom we have raised from their earliest 
infancy, namely, Eleanor Parke Custis and George Wash- 
ington Parke Custis; and whereas the former of these hath 
lately intermarried with Laivrence Lewis, a son of my de- 
ceased sister, Betty Lewis, by which the inducement to pro- 
vide for them both has been increased; wherefore, I give 
and bequeath to the said Lawrence Lewis and Eleanor 
Parke Lewis, his wife, and their heirs, the residue of my 
Mount Yernon estate, not already devised to my nephew, 
Bushrod Washington, comprehended within the following 
description; viz., All the land north of the road leading from 
the ford of Dogue Run to the Gum Spring as described in 
the devise of the other part of the tract to Bushrod Wash- 
ington, until it comes to the stone and three red or Spanish 
oaks on the knoll ; thence with the rectangular line to the 
back line (between Mr. Mason and me) ; thence with that 
line westerly along the new double ditch to Dogue Run, by 
the tumbling dam of my Mill; thence with the said run to 
the ford aforementioned. To which I add all the land I pos- 
sess west of the said Dogue Run and Dogue Creek, bounded 
easterly and southerly thereby ; together with the mill, dis- 
tillery, and all other houses and improvements on the prem- 
ises, making together about two thousand acres, be it more 
or less. 

Fourth. — Actuated by the principle already mentioned, 
I give and bequeath to George Washington Parke Custis, 
the grandson of my wife, and my ward, and to his heirs, the 
tract I hold on Four Mile Run, in the vicinity of Alexandria, 
containing one thousand two hundred acres, more or less, 
and my entire square, No. 21, in the city of Washington. 

Fifth. — All the rest and residue of my estate real and 
personal, not disposed of in manner aforesaid, in whatsoever 
consisting, wheresoever lying, and whensoever found (a 
schedule of which, as far as is recollected, with a reason- 
able estimate of its value, is hereunto annexed), I desire may 
be sold by my executors at such times, in such manner, and 

47$ U/orKs of UVasl?ir;$tOD Irvip^ 

on such credits (if an equal, valid, and satisfactory distribu- 
tion of the specific property cannot be made without), as in 
their judgment shall be most conducive to the interests of the 
parties concerned; and the moneys arising therefrom to be 
divided into twenty-three equal parts, and applied as follows; 
viz., To William Augustine Washington , Elizabeth Spots- 
wood, Jane Thornton, and the heirs of Ann Ashton, sons 
and daughters of my deceased brother, Augustine Wash- 
ington, I give and bequeath four parts ; that is, one part to 
each of them. To Fielding Lewis, George Letvis, Robert 
Lewis, Hoivell Lewis, and Betty Carter, sons and daugh- 
ters of my deceased sister, Betty Lewis, I give and bequeath 
five other parts; one to each of them. To George Steptoe 
Washington, Lawrence Augustine Washington, Harriet 
Parks, and the heirs of Thornton Washington, sons and 
daughters of my deceased brother, Samuel Washington, I 
give and bequeath other four parts ; one to each of them. To 
Corbin Washington, and the heirs of Jane Washington, 
son and daughter of my deceased brother, John Augustine 
Washington, I give and bequeath two parts ; one to each of 
them. To Samuel Washington, Frances Ball, and Mil- 
dred Hammond, son and daughters of my brother, Charles 
Washington, I give and bequeath three parts; one part to 
each of them. And to George Fayette Washington, Charles 
Augustine Washington, and Maria Washington, sons and 
daughter of my deceased nephew, George Augustine Wash- 
ington, I give one other part ; that is, to each a third of that 
part. To Elizabeth Parke Law, Martha Parke Peter, and 
Eleanor Parke Lewis, I give and bequeath three other parts; 
that is, a part to each of them. And to my nephews, Bush- 
rod Washington and Lawrence Lewis, and to my ward, 
the grandson of my wife,. I give and bequeath one other part ; 
that is, a third thereof to each of them. And, if it should so 
happen that any of the persons whose names are here enu- 
merated (unknown to me) should now be dead, or should die 
before me, that in either of these cases, the heir of such de- 
ceased person shall, notwithstanding, derive all the benefits 

Cife of U/as^iD^tor) 479 

of the bequest in the same manner as if he or she was act- 
ually living at the time. And, by way of advice, I recom 
mend it to my executors not to be precipitate in disposing of 
the landed property (herein directed to be sold), if from tem- 
porary causes the sale thereof should be dull; experience 
having fully evinced that the price of land, especially above 
the falls of the river and on the western waters, has been 
progressively rising, and cannot be long checked in its in- 
creasing value. And I particularly recommend it to such 
of the legatees (under this clause of my will), as can make it 
convenient, to take each a share of my stock in the Potomac 
Company in preference to the amount of what it might sell 
for ; being thoroughly convinced myself that no uses to which 
the money can be applied will be so productive as the tolls 
arising from this navigation when in full operation (and thus, 
from the nature of things, it must be, ere long), and more 
especially if that of the Shenandoah is added thereto. 

The family vault at Mount Vernon requiring repairs, and 
being improperly situated besides, I desire that a new one 
of brick, and upon a larger scale, may be built at the foot 
of what is commonly called the Vineyard Inclosure, on the 
ground which is marked out; in which my remains, with 
those of my deceased relations (now in the old vault), and 
such others of my family as may choose to be entombed 
there, may be deposited. And it is my express desire that 
my corpse may be interred in a private manner, without 
parade or funeral oration. 

Lastly, I constitute and appoint my dearly beloved wife, 
Martha Washington, my nephews, William Augustine 
Washington, Bushrod Washington, George Steptoe Wash, 
ington, Samuel Washington, and Lawrence Lewis, and my 
ward, George Washington Parke Custis (when he shall 
have arrived at the age of twenty-one years), executrix and 
executors of this my will and testament; in the construction 
of which it will be readily perceived that no professional 
character has been consulted, or has had any agency in the 
draft ; and that, although it has occupied many of my leisure 

480 U/or^s of U/asl?ii?$toi) Irvii)©; 

hours to digest, and to throw it into its present form, it may, 
notwithstanding, appear crude and incorrect; but, having 
endeavored to be plain and explicit in all the devises, even 
at the expense of prolixity, perhaps of tautology, I hope and 
trust that no disputes will arise concerning them. But if, 
contrary to expectation, the case should be otherwise, from 
the want of legal expressions, or the usual technical terms, 
or because too much or too little has been said on any of 
the devises to be consonant with law, my will and direction 
expressly is, that all disputes (if unhappily any should arise) 
shall be decided by three impartial and intelligent men, 
known for their probity and good understanding, two to be 
chosen by the disputants, each having the choice of one, and 
the third by those two; which three men, thus chosen, shall, 
unfettered by law or legal constructions, declare their sense 
of the testator's intention ; and such decision is, to all intents 
and purposes, to be as binding on the parties as if it had 
been given in the Supreme Court of the United States. 

In witness of all and of each of the things herein contained, 1 have 
set my hand and seal, this ninth day of July, in the year one 
thousand seven hundred and ninety,* and of the Independence of 
the United States the twenty-fourth. 


It appears that the testator omitted the word "nine. 




Vol. —XV*** 21. 



Abercrombie, General — 

supersedes General Shirley vol. xii. 228 

commander-in-chief vol. xii. 260 

encamped at Lake George vol. xii. 265 

proceeds against Ticonderoga vol. xii. 265 

falls back vol. xii. 267 

attacks the French works vol. xii. 267 

repulsed by Montcalm vol. xii. 268 

superseded by Major-general Amherst vol. xii. 283 

Abercrombie, Lieutenant-colonel — 

attacks American batteries vol. xiv. 599 

Ackland, Lady Harriets— 

with Burgoyne's army vol. xiii. 548 

during the action vol. xiii. 556 

her distress , vol. xiv. 30 

seeks her husband vol. xiv. 33 

kind treatment of vol. xiv. 34 

subsequent history (note) vol. xiv. 46 

Ackland, Major- 
commands the Grenadiers vol. xiv. 26 

wounded and taken prisoner vol. xiv. 26 

subsequent history (note) vol. xiv. 46 

Adams, John- 
birth of American independence vol. xii. 319 

at town meetings « vol. xii. 375 

on the General Congress vol. xii. 378 

to his wife about Mr. Duche... vol. xii. 380 

opposes petition to the king vol. xii. 421 

on the choice of commander-in-chief vol. xii. 423 

proposes Washington as such vol. xii. 425 

on the conduct of Washington vol. xii. 426 

opposes Lee, and urges Ward as second in command vol. xii. 427 

opposed to Lee and Gates vol. xii. 428 

on the act of the Massachusetts General Court vol. xii. 534 

to General Thomas on Schuyler's unpopularity vol. xii. 558 

picture of festivities at headquarters vol. xii. 573 

on the defense of New York vol. xii. 592 


484 Ir>dex 

member of the Board of War and Ordnance vol. xiii. 89 

on the Declaration of Independence vol. xiii. 118 

its great importance vol. xiii. 119 

concerning sectional jealousies vol. xiii. 146 

on committee to confer with Lord Howe vol. xiii. 197 

at Washington's inauguration vol. xv. 115 

on presidential etiquette vol. xv. 129 

distrusts the French Revolution vol. xv. 204 

on the office of Vice-President vol. xv. 204 

his Discourses on Davilla vol. xv. 204 

on the British Constitution vol. xv. 222 

concerning Washington's judgment of Genet vol. xv. 287 

to his wife on affairs vol. xv. 292 

elected President vol. xv. 354 

inaugural address vol. xv. 357 

convenes Congress vol. xv. 368 

address on French indignities vol. xv. 368 

to Washington, asking advice vol. xv. 874 

on the appointment of Washington as commander-in-chief. vol. xv. 375 
nominates minister to France , vol. xv. 387 

Ad ims, Mrs.— 

to her husband on the appearance of Washington vol. xii. 464 

description of General Lee vol. xii. 466 

account of party at General Mifflin's vol. xii. 573 

to her husband on the cannonade vol. xiii. 54 

Adams, Samuel— 

as moderator vol. xii. 375 

proposes Mr. Duche as chaplain vol. xii. 379 

apprised of the movement of troops vol. xii. 405 

irresolute as to commander-in-chief vol. xii. 423 

excepted from proffered pardon vol. xii. 431 

on the united command of Schuyler and Gates vol. xiii. 139 

meets Washington at Cambridge vol. xv. 158 

Adams, Sir Thomas vol. xii. 311 

Adet, Mr. — 

minister from France vol. xv. 31s 

presents the colors of France vol. xv. 338 

complaints against the government of the United States. vol. xv. 353 

Agnew, Brigadier-general— 

in the expedition against Danbury vol. xiii. 396 

killed at Germantown vol. xiv. 54 

Albany, panic at St. Clair's retreat vol. xiii. 457 

Allen, the fighting parson .vol. xiii. 510 

Allen, Ethan—- 

„ at the head of the Green Mountain Boys vol. xii 416 

volunteers in the public cause vol. xii. 416 

described vol. xii. 417 

commands expedition to Ticonderoga vol. xii. 417 

proceeds to Shoreham vol. xii. 417 

Ipdex 485 

arrives at Shoreham . . .* vol. xii. 418 

addresses his men vol. xii. 418 

surprises Ticonderoga vol. xii. 419 

expedition against St. John's vol. xii. 420 

returns to Ticonderoga vol. xii. 420 

rivalry with Arnold vol. xii. 496 

to New York Congress vol. xii. 497 

designs on Canada vol. xii. 498 

to Trumbull vol. xii. 498 

repairs to Congress vol. xii. 499 

repairs to i\ew York Convention „ vol. xii. 499 

to Trumbull on the invasion of Canada vol. xii. 502 

superseded by Seth Warner vol. xii. 505 

joins as a volunteer. vol. xii. 505 

to Trumbull vol. xii. 506 

sent to reconnoiter vol. xii. 517 

report to Schuyler vol. xii. 518 

recruiting vol. xii. 518 

to Montgomery on Canadian volunteers vol. xii. 522 

meets Major Brown vol. xii. 522 

decides to attack Montreal vol. xii. 522 

taken prisoner vol. xii. 523 

reception by General Prescott vol. xii. 524 

sent to England vol. xii. 524 

to General Prescott vol. xii. 524 

memory of vol. xii. 525 

treatment by the British vol. xii. 562 

exchanged for Colonel Campbell vol. xiv. 161 

visits Valley Forge vol. xiv. 161 

leaves for home vol. xiv. 161 

Allen, Levi — 

to Washington on the treatment of Ethan Allen vol. xii. 564 

project to effect his release .vol. xii. 564 

Allen, William vol. xiii. 141 

Alton, John, Washington's servant, taken ill vol. xii. 193 

"Ambuscade, " engagement with the "Boston" vol. xv. 279 

Amboy, disaffection of people vol. xiii. 117 

American Colonies — 

affection for the mother country vol. xii. 316 

resolve not to purchase British fabrics vol. xii. 320 

American Army — 

besieging Boston, its nature .vol. xii. 439 

disposition of its forces vol. xii. 440 

distribution of, before Boston vol. xii. 482 

condition and discipline vol. xii. 482 

spirit of insubordination vol. xii. 483 

eamp described vol. xii. 483 

strict discipline vol. xii. 485 

scarcity of powder vol. xii. 487 

486 Ir>dex 

critical condition vol. xii. 488 

difficulty of filling up vol. xii. 558 

greatly weakened vol. xii. 584 

lack of equipments vol. xii. 586 

strength in and about New York .vol. xiii. 75 

retreat from before Quebec vol. xiii. 82 

British description of vol. xiii. 243 

at New Brunswick vol. xiii. 283 

contrasted with the British vol. xiii. 361 

marches through Philadelphia vol. xiii. 484 

described by a Hessian vol. xiv. 41 

approach of winter vol. xiv. 92 

destitution of vol. xiv. 263 

pass through Philadelphia vol. xiv. 567 

discontent of vol. xiv. 623 

memorial to Congress vol. xv. 20 

anonymous address vol. xv. 20 

other anonymous papers vol. xv. 24 

meeting of officers vol. xv. 24 

addressed by Washington vol. xv. 25 

resolutions of meeting vol. xv. 28 

its breaking up described vol. xv. 46 

contrasted with the British vol. xv. 51 

American Militia — 

fly before the British vol. xiii. 205 

cowardice of vol. xiii. 205 

signalize themselves vol. xiii. 358 

gallant exploits vol. xiii. 359 

American Prisoners, treatment of vol. xiii. 364 

American Seamen, impressment of vol. xv. 284 

Ames, Fisher— 

on the first Congress vol. xv. 145 

debate on Jefferson's report vol. xv. 293 

on Washington's farewell address vol. xv. 349 

Amesbury, a British spy vol. xiii. 425 

Amherst, Major-general — 

to reduce Louisburg ... vol. xii. 262 

embarks vol. xii. 262 

arrives at the bay of Gabarus vol. xii. 263 

landing of troops vol. xii. 263 

takes Louisburg vol. xii. 265 

supersedes General Abercrombie vol. xii. 283 

to advance against Ticonderoga and Crown Point. ...... .vol. xii. 284 

embarks for Ticonderoga vol. xii. 286 

repairs the works at Ticonderoga and Crown Point vol. xii. 286 

consequences of his delay vol. xii. 286 

further delay vol. xii. 297 

again in the field vol. xii. 297 

arrives at Montreal vol. xii. 299 

Ipdex 487 

Amherst, Captain, dispatched to England with news of the 

capture of Louisburg vol. xii. 365 

Anderson, Ephraim— 

plan for destroying British ships vol. xiii. 153 

entertained by Congress vol. xiii. 154 

to the President of Congress on his progress vol. xiii. 155 

Andre, Major— 

and the Mischianza vol. xiv. 158 

aid-de-camp to Sir Henry Clinton .... vol. xiv. 240 

correspondence with Arnold vol. xiv. 356 

sketch of his life vol. xiv. 357 

attempted interview with Arnold vol. xiv. 361 

goes on board the "Vulture" vol. xiv. 362 

interview with Arnold vol. xiv. 363 

remains ashore all night vol. xiv. 364 

anxiety to escape , vol. xiv. 364 

crosses to Verplanck's Point vol. xiv. 366 

stopped by patroling party vol. xiv. 366 

approaches the Neutral Ground vol. xiv. 366 

parts with Smith vol. xiv. 367 

stopped by Paulding vol. xiv. 368 

arrested and searched vol. xiv. 370 

taken to North Castle vol. xiv. 371 

sent to Arnold vol. xiv. 372 

brought back vol. xiv. 372 

taken to Lower Salem vol. xiv. 372 

lines to Washington vol. xiv. 373 

amuses himself by sketching vol. xiv. 374 

propensity for caricature (note) vol. xiv. 374 

taken to the Robinson House vol. xiv. 384 

sent to West Point vol. xiv. 384 

conversation with Major Tallmadge vol. xiv. 385 

his fate predicted , vol. xiv. 385 

arrives at Tappan vol. xiv. 388 

frank confession vol. xiv. 391 

condemned as a spy vol. xiv. 391 

concerning Sir Henry Clinton vol. xiv. 392 

qualities of vol. xiv. 392 

execution postponed vol. xiv. 395 

affecting appeal to Washington vol. xiv. 398 

nature of his mission vol. xiv. 398 

British view of his case (note) vol. xiv. 400 

his execution « vol. xiv. 401 

burial vol. xiv. 402 

transferred to Westminster Abbey vol. xiv. 402 

sympathy in behalf of vol. xiv. 402 

Angel, Colonel, in the fight at Springfield vol. xiv. 322 

Annapolis before the Revolution (note) vol. xii. 312 

Anspachers arrive at New York vol. xiii. 419 

488 Ir>dex 

Arbuthnot, Admiral- 
arrival with troops vol. xiv. 258 

convoys expedition to South Carolina vol. xiv. 362 

enters Charleston harbor vol. xiv. 305 

passes Fort Monltrie , . vol. xiv. 305 

squadron scattered by a storm vol. xiv. 511 

encounters the French fleet vol. xiv. 517 

Armstrong, Colonel John, commands expedition against Kit- 
tanning vol. xii. 240 

Armstrong, Major-general— 

to check the British vol. xiii. 524 

at Brandywine. vol. xiii. 531 

posted at the Schuylkill vol. xiii. 540 

on Washington (note) vol. xiv. 70 

author of anonymous papers vol. xv. 31 

Armstrong, Captain- 
commands at Verplanck's Point vol. xiv. 239 

pursues Colonel Coates vol. xiv. 553 

fight at Quimby Creek ....vol. xiv. 553 

decoyed into an ambush vol. xv. 190 

Armstrong, Major, attention to Mercer vol. xiii. 350 

Arnold, Benedict- 
arrives at Castleton vol. xii. 417 

proposes the surprisal of Ticonderoga and Crown Point.. vol. xii. 417 

aspires to the command vol. xii. 418 

serves as volunteer vol. xii. 418 

desires to command Ticonderoga vol. xii. 419 

is disappointed and protests vol. xii. 419 

commands armed schooner vol. xii. 420 

surprises St. John's vol. xii. 420 

rivalry with Ethan Allen vol. xii. 496 

opinion of Allen .vol. xii. 496 

difficulties with Colonel Hinman vol. xii. 500 

and the committee of inquiry vol. xii. 500 

indignation vol. xii. 500 

sets off for Cambridge vol. xii. 501 

commands the expedition as lieutenant-colonel vol. xii. 515 

sets out for Canada vol. xii. 516 

to Washington, on the expedition vol. xii. 519 

to Washington, on his progress vol. xii. 527 

toils of the expedition vol. xii. 527 

obstacles to the expedition vol. xii. 527 

perseverance vol. xii. 548 

embarks on the Chaudiere vol. xii. 550 

arrives at Point Levi vol. xii. 550 

sudden apparition vol. xii. 550 

at Point Levi .vol. xii. 575 

crosses to Wolfe's Cove vol. xii. 576 

discovered by a boat from the "Lizard" vol. xii. 577 

Ir>dex 489 

Arnold, Benedict— on the Heights of Abraham vol. xii. 578 

obstacles before him vol. xii. 578 

holds a council of war vol. xii. 578 

demands a surrender vol. xii. 578 

retires to Point aux Trembles vol. xii. 579 

joined by Montgomery vol. xii. 580 

leads his division against St. Roque vol. xiii. 32 

wounded vol. xiii. 33 

assisted back to camp vol. xiii. 35 

determination and resources vol. xiii. 35 

gallant resolve vol. xiii. 35 

promoted to brigadier-general vol. xiii. 79 

keeps up the blockade vol. xiii. 79 

difficulties vol. xiii. 79 

accident vol. xiii. 80 

obtains leave of absence vol. xiii. 80 

at Montreal vol. xiii. 92 

affair at the Cedars vol. xiii. 92 

council of war , vol. xiii. 94 

exchange of prisoners vol. xiii. 94 

to Commissioners of Congress. vol. xiii. 94 

joins Sullivan vol. xiii. 105 

commands flotilla at Ticonderoga vol. xiii. 254 

at Valcour Island vol. xiii. 256 

his force vol. xiii. 256 

engages the British vol. xiii. 256 

escapes the enemy ....vol. xiii. 257 

overtaken, brave resistance vol. xiii. 258 

burns his vessels vol. xiii. 258 

arrives at Crown Point vol. xiii. 259 

passed over by Congress vol. xiii. 394 

to Washington on his non-promotion vol. xiii. 394 

reasons for vol. xiii. 395 

hastens to Danbury vol. xiii. 396 

takes post at Ridgefield vol. xiii. 398 

throws up a breastwork vol. xiii. 398 

narrow escape vol. xiii. 399 

presses the enemy hard vol. xiii. 399 

made major-general vol. xiii. 400 

presented with a horse by Congress vol. xiii. 401 

declines the command of the Hudson vol. xiii. 415 

business with Congress vol. xiii. 415 

commands Philadelphia vol. xiii. 420 

volunteers to relieve Fort Schuyler vol. xiii. 505 

encourages Gansevoort vol. xiii. 515 

re-enforced vol. xiii. 516 

to Gates, determination vol. xiii. 516 

success of his stratagem vol. xiii. 517 

selects a camping ground vol. xiii. 551 

490 Ipdex 

Arnold, Benedict— skirmishes with the enemy. « vol. xiii. 553 

impetuous attack , . . . vol. xiii. 554 

quarrel with Gates „ vol. xiii. 557 

indignant letter to Gates vol. xiii. 560 

tries to goad Gates on vol. xiv. 23 

rushes to the fight vol. xiv. 27 

desperate valor vol. xiv. 27 

storms Burgoyne's camp vol. xiv. 28 

wounded ...vol. xiv. 28 

to take command of Philadelphia , . . .vol. xiv. 171 

unsettled accounts vol. xiv. 271 

command of Philadelphia vol. xiv. 272 

issues proclamation vol. xiv. 272 

style of living .vol. xiv. 273 

disputes c vol. xiv. 273 

attachment to Miss Shippen vol. xiv. 274 

projects a settlement in New York vol. xiv. 275 

charges against vol. xiv. 275 

sets out for Albany vol. xiv. 275 

address to the public vol. xiv. 276 

appeal to Congress. vol. xiv. 276 

exculpated by Congress vol. xiv. 277 

resigns his command vol. xiv. 277 

dissatisfaction with Congress vol. xiv. 277 

to Washington on the court-martial vol. xiv. 278 

marries Miss Shippen vol. xiv. 278 

application for a guard vol. xiv. 279 

tried by court-martial vol. xiv. 279 

sentenced to be reprimanded vol. xiv. 281 

reprimanded by Washington vol. xiv. 281 

projects an expedition vol. xiv. 283 

and the French minister vol. xiv. 297 

applies to rejoin the army vol. xiv. 298 

seeks the command of West Point vol. xiv. 298 

appointed to the command of West Point vol. xiv. 834 

treason of vol. xiv. 854 

correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton vol. xiv. 354 

desperate state of affairs vol. xiv. 355 

takes command of West Point vol. xiv. 356 

headquarters at the Robinson House vol. xiv. 356 

carries on secret correspondence with Andre vol. xiv. 356 

scheme of treachery vol. xiv. 356 

attempted interview with Andre vol. xiv. 360 

accompanies Washington .vol. xiv. 861 

message to Colonel Robinson .vol. xiv. 362 

interview with Andre vol. xiv. 863 

the bargain completed vol. xiv. 364 

returns to headquarters vol. xiv. 364 

arrival of Washington vol. xiv. 876 

rpdex 491 

fiears of Andre's capture vol. xiv. 877 

flight vol. xiv. 378 

escapes to the "Vulture" vol. xiv. 380 

gives up his crew as prisoners of war vol. xiv. 380 

to Washington concerning his wife vol. xiv. 381 

certificate in behalf of Andre vol. xiv. 396 

to Washington, threatening retaliation for Andre vol. xiv. 396 

rewarded by the British vol. xiv. 403 

address to the inhabitants of America vol. xiv. 403 

proclamation to the American Army vol. xiv. 404 

letter from his mother (note) vol. xiv. 408 

subsequent fortunes vol. xiv. 409 

commands British detachment vol. xiv. 448 

arrives in the Chesapeake vol. xiv. 461 

buccaneering ravages vol. xiv. 461 

takes post at Portsmouth vol. xiv. 463 

returns to New York vol. xiv. 539 

commands expedition against New London vol. xiv. 564 

attacks New London vol. xiv. 564 

ravages the town vol. xiv. 565 

Arnold, Mrs., hears of Arnold's ruin vol. xiv. 377 

interview with Washington vol. xiv. 383 

ordered to leave the State vol. xiv. 406 

her fortunes vol. xiv. 407 

Asgill, Captain Charles vol. xiv. 615 

Asgill, Lady, to the Count de Vergennes vol. xiv. 616 

Assistance, Writs of « vol. xii. 318 

Atlee, Colonel, retires before General Grant vol. xiii. 174 

forms an ambush and falls back on Lord Stirling vol. xiii. 174 

taken prisoner vol. xiii. 178 

"Augusta" ship of war burned vol. xiv. 62 


Babcock, Colonel, to Governor Cooke, on the agitations in 

New York vol. xiii. 204 

operations of the enemy vol. xiii. 205 

Bache's Aurora vol. xv. 342 

Baird, Sir James vol. xiv. 224 

Baker, Remember, Ethan Allen's lieutenant vol. xiii. 416 

Balcarras, Lord, commands light infantry vol. xiv. 26 

defends the intrenchments vol. xiv. 28 

Barbour, Major, carries message to Baron de Viomenil vol. xiv. 597 

Bard, Dr. Samuel, attends Washington vol. xv. 138 

BARRAS, Count de, arrives at Boston vol. xiv. 528 

address to Mr. Monroe vol. xv. 367 

Barren Hill, Lafayette stationed on vol. xiv. 159 

Barton, Colonel, captures General Prescott vol. xiii. 458 

voted a sword and promoted , .vol. xiii. 459 

Bastile, key of., vol. xv. 186 

492 iQdcx 

Batt'sHill, occupied by General Sullivan vol. xiv. 207 

action at vol. xiv. 208 

Baum, Lieutenant, commands expedition against Bennington. vol. xiii. 506 

sets out from camp. vol. xiii. 508 

slow march voL xiii. 508 

intrenches himself vol. xiii. 509 

defeated vol. xiii. 512 

Baxter, Colonel, at Fort Washington vol. xiii. 264 

killed vol. xiii. 266 

Baylor, Lieutenant-colonel, at Old Tappan vol. xiv. 218 

surprised by Major-general Grey vol, xiv. 218 

Be all, General, to secure Pine's Bridge vol. xiii. 242 

Beaujeu, Captain de vol. xii. 208 

Bedell, Colonel, in command at the Cedars vol. xiii. 92 

menaced by Captain Forster vol. xiii. 92 

repairs to Montreal for re-enforcements . voL xiii. 92 

Bedford Pass neglected vol. xiii. 166 

Beeksteak (The) and Tripe Club.. vol. xii. 83 

Bellarni, M., and the American envoys vol. xv. 371 

Belt of Wampum ..vol. xii. 88 

Bemis's Heights fortified vol. xiii. 551 

situation of vol. xiii. 552 

^Bennington, expedition against vol. xiii. 506 

situation of vol. xiii. 506 

people on the alert vol. xiii. 508 

battle of vol. xiii. 509 

second battle vol. xiii. 511 

spoils of victory vol. xiii. 512 

Benson, Egbert, commissioner to New York vol. xv. 35 

Berkshire Committees acquit Schuyler vol. xiii. 86 

Bernard, Gov. Sir Francis, calls upon the General Court to 

rescind their resolution vol. xii. 331 

Berthier, Marshal vol. xiv. 534 

Beville, General de, reconnoiters vol. xiv. 535 

Bienville, Celeron de, dispatched with 800 men to the Ohio. . . vol. xii. 70 

orders the English traders to depart vol. xii. 71 

Biggin's Bridge secured by the British .vol. xiv. 308 

Bird, Colonel, commands attack on Peekskill vol. xiii. 379 

retreat vol. xiii. 380 

Bishop, Washington's servant vol. xii. 271 

Black (The) Hunter vol. xii. 171 

Black rifle vol. xii. 171 

Black Stock Hill, fight at vol. xiv. 438 

Blair, John, acting governor vol. xii. 260 

judge of Supreme Court vol. xv. 144 

Bland, Colonel, at Brandywine vol. xiii. 532 

Bland, Richard, delegate to the General Congress. vol. xii. 373 

Blockade of Boston, a play vol. xiii. 47 

Board of War modified vol. xiv. 88 

Ipdex 493 

Bolden (The) Book „ vol. xii. 28 

Bompard, Captain, at New York vol. xv. 279 

Bonaparte, on the death of Washington vol. xv. 400 

Bonner, Lieutenant-colonel, slain at Monmouth Court-house.. vol. xiv. 184 

Borden town, public store-houses burned. ... vol. xiv. 148 

Boscawen, Admiral, sails for Louisburg vol. xii. 262 

receives vote of praise by Parliament vol. xii. 265 

Boskirk, Lieutenant-colonel, surprises Elizabethtown vol. xiv. 268 

Boston resists payment of duties vol. xii. 318 

demand for British goods diminished vol. xii. 318 

riot against stamp act .vol. xii. 320 

proceedings in regard to stamp act vol. xii. 326 

militia demonstrations vol. xii. 332 

convention held at vol. xii. 332 

arrival of British forces vol. xii. 332 

town meeting against the right of the king to send troops., vol. xii. 332 

refuses to quarter the troops vol. xii. 333 

massacre » vol. xii. 344 

arrival of tea vol. xii. 361 

destruction of tea vol. xii. 362 

passage of the Boston Port Bill vol. xii. 362 

general league recommended at town meeting .vol. xii. 366 

Port Bill carried into effect vol. xii. 366 

excitement in vol. xii. 367 

condition of vol. xii. 368 

town meetings vol. xii. 368 

rumored cannonading of vol. xii. 389 

like a place besieged vol. xii. 397 

besieged vol. xii. 430 

arrival of British troops vol. xii. 430 

feeling against the British in vol. xii. 467 

in a state of siege vol. xii. 488 

question of bombardment vol. xii. 536 

preparations in the harbor vol. xii. 589 

destitution and sickness vol. xiii. 48 

opening of bombardment vol. xiii. 55 

British prepare to evacuate vol. xiii. 61 

hurried preparations vol. xiii. 61 

evacuation vol. xiii. 63 

occupied by the Americans vol. xiii. 65 

after the siege vol. xiii. 65 

people of, project expedition against Penobscot vol. xiv. 251 

"Boston" frigate engagement with the "Ambuscade" vol. xv. 279 

Boston massacre vol. xii. 344 

Boston Port Bill vol. xii. 362 

Boston tea party < vol. xii. 362 

Botetourt, Lord, Governor of Virginia vol. xii. 337 

his manners vol. xii. 337 

his promptness vol. xii. 338 

494 Ir>dex 

his style and equipage vol. xii. 8S8 

opening of the session vol. xii. 838 

dissolves the House of Burgesses vol. xii. 340 

conciliatory conduct vol. xii. 340 

his death vol. xii. 345 

Bottle Hill, Americans encamped at vol. xiii. 357 

alarm post vol. xiv. 226 

Boudinot, Elias, to Pres. Wharton vol. xiv. 91 

Bougainville, De, detached to watch Wolfe's movements vol. xii. 291 

arrives too late vol. xii. 295 

retires vol. xii. 295 

Bouquet, Colonel, stationed at Raystown vol. xii. 273 

attaches an officer and men to Indian scouting parties.... vol. xii. 273 

halt at Loyal Hannan vol. xii. 277 

sends out a reconnoitering party vol. xii. 278 

Bourlamarque dismantles Ticonderoga and Crown Point vol. xii. 286 

makes a stand at the Isle aux Noix vol. xii. 286 

Braam, Van. (See Van Braam.) 

Braddock, Major-general Edward, appointed generalissimo of 

the colonial forces vol. xii. 160 

his character vol. xii. 160 

anecdotes of vol. xii. 160 

lands at Hampton vol. xii. 162 

proceeds to Alexandria vol. xii. 164 

invites Washington to join his staff vol. xii. 165 

holds a council vol. xii. 167 

sets out from Alexandria vol. xii. 172 

commencement of troubles vol. xii. 172 

interview with Franklin vol. xii. 173 

sets off for Will's Creek vol. xii. 175 

arrives at Fort Cumberland vol. xii. 176 

his discipline vol. xii. 177 

treatment of Indians vol. xii. 179 

to Governor Morris vol. xii. 180 

his impatience and obstinacy vol. xii. 182 

arrival of conveyances vol. xii. 183 

leaves Fort Cumberland vol. xii. 184 

asks the advice of Washington vol. xii. 185 

advances to attack Fort Duquesne vol. xii. 186 

reception of Captain Jack vol. xii. 187 

his delay vol. xii. 188 

solicitude for Washington vol. xii. 189 

continued march vol. xii. 190 

deserted Indian camp vol. xii. 190 

three stragglers shot and scalped vol. xii. 190 

difficulties of the march vol. xii. 190 

precautions vol. xii. 191 

encamps at Thicketty Run vol. xii. 191 

sends scouts to Fort Duquesne vol. xii. 191 

iQdex 495 

Scarooyadi's son killed by mistake vol. xii. 192 

admirable conduct vol. xii. 192 

tardiness of his march vol. xii. 194 

crosses the Monongahela , vol. xii. 196 

commencement of the battle vol. xii. 198 

panic of the advance guard .vol. xii. 198 

attempts to rally them vol. xii. 199 

is wounded ; his despair vol. xii. 202 

the rout vol. xii. 202 

reach the Great Meadows vol. xii. 204 

his death, dying requests vol. xii. 204 

character vol. xii. 205 

Bradford, William, Attorney-general vol. xv. 290 

death of vol. xv. 333 

Bradstreet, Lieutenant-colonel, secures a sawmill vol. xii. 267 

expedition against Fort Frontenac vol. xii. 268 

captures the fort vol. xii. 269 

Brandywine Creek , vol. xiii. 530 

Brandy wine (battle of the), cannonading commenced vol. xiii. 532 

conflicting reports vol. xiii. 532 

desperate conflict , vol. xiii. 535 

description of the retreat vol. xiii. 539 

Brannan, Colonel, joins Marion vol. xiv. 438 

Brant, Mohawk Sachem vol. xii. 459 

at Niagara vol. xiv. 213 

depredations of vol. xiv. 414 

Breed's Hill vol. xii. 437 

to be fortified vol. xii. 437 

fortified vol. xii. 438 

under the enemy's fire vol. xii. 441 

Breton Club . .vol. xv. 151 

Breyman, Colonel, to the relief of Baum vol. xiii. 510 

arrives and renews the battle vol. xiii. 512 

mortally wounded - vol. xiv. 28 

Bridport, Lord, action on death of Washington vol. xv. 399 

British ministry, efforts to suppress smuggling vol. xii. 318 

manufactures, resolutions not to import vol. xii. 319 

officers, their scornful spirit vol. xii. 442 

troops at Boston vol. xii. 466 

attack the coast vol. xii. 533 

plan of operations vol. xii. 590 

officers and their amusements vol. xiii. 49 

move against Dorchester Heights vol. xiii. 61 

postponed by a storm vol. xiii. 63 

retire vol. xiii. 63 

preparations for retreat from Boston vol. xiii. 65 

embarkation from Boston , vol. xiii. 66 

designs against New York vol. xiii. Ill 

plans for the attack on Long Island vol. xiii. 174 

496 Ir>dex 

crossing from Long Island vol. xiii. 904 

land at New York vol. xiii. 204 

repulse Americans vol. xiii. 204 

land at Throg's Neck vol. xiii. 232 

ships move up to Burdett's Ferry vol. xiii. 241 

cross the Hudson above Fort Lee vol. xiii. 273 

army contrasted with American vol. xiii. 361 

evacuate the Jerseys vol. xiii. 428 

invasion from Canada vol. xiii. 434 

fleet leaves New York vol. xiii. 465 

enters the Delaware vol. xiii. 467 

sails out of the capes vol. xiii. 467 

enters the Chesapeake vol. xiii. 483 

Brodhead, Colonel, expeditions against the Indians vol. xiv. 237 

Bromfield, Major, attack on Fort Griswold vol. xiv. 565 

Brooke, Judge, on Washington's hilarity vol. xv. 81 

Brooke, General, meets Washington at Cambridge vol. xv. 158 

Brooklyn, defenses of vol. xiii. 165 

Brooks, Lieutenant-general, attacks Burgoyne's camp vol. xiv. 25 

joins Prescott vol. xii. 436 

Brown, Dr., attends Washington vol. xv. 394 

Brown, Lieutenant, brings flag of truce vol. xiii. 128 

recognition of Washington's rank vol. xiii. 128 

Brown, Major John, dispatched into Canada vol. xii. 503 

sent to reconnoiter vol. xii. 517 

projects with Allen an attack on Montreal vol. xii. 522 

and Major Livingston take Fort Chamblee vol. xii. 543 

drives Colonel Mac Lean back vol. xii. 545 

successful feint vol. xiii. 30 

Brown, Colonel, surprises Ticonderoga .vol. xiii. 558 

threatens Diamond Island vol. xiii. 561 

Brown, Lieutenant-colonel, commands expedition to Augusta. vol. xiv. 311 

Brudenell, Mr., accompanies Lady Ackland vol. xiv. 25 

Brunswick troops hired by England vol. xiii. 78 

Buford, Colonel, pursued by Tarleton vol. xiv. 311 

rejects Tarleton's proposals , vol. xiv. 312 

defeated by Tarleton vol. xiv. 313 

Bunker's Hill to be fortified vol. xii. 435 

position of vol. xii. 436 

works thrown up vol. xii. 437 

advance of General Pigott vol. xii. 444 

effect of the American fire vol. xii. 445 

advance of General Howe vol. xii. 445 

British checked vol. xii. 445 

second attack vol. xii. 446 

British again retreat vol. xii. 447 

spectators vol. xii. 447 

third attack vol. xii. 448 

the Americans driven from the breastwork on the left. . .vol. xii. 449 

Ir>dex 497 

British advance with the bayonet vol. xii. 449 

American ammunition exhausted vol. xii. 449 

desperate struggle vol. xii. 450 

American retreat vol. xii. 450 

Stark, Reed, and Knowlton maintain their ground vol. xii. 449 

Putnam endeavors to rally the troops vol. xii. 450 

British take possession vol. xii. 450 

resume vol. xii. 452 

relative merits of the American officers .vol. xii. 452 

occupied by the British „ vol. xii. 468 

Burgesses (Va.), House of, convened vol. xii. 115 

vote thanks to Washington and his officers vol. xii. 147 

grant £20,000 for the public service vol. xii. 153 

meeting called , vol. xii. 362 

Bullitt, Captain, brave conduct vol. xii. 279 

promoted to Major vol. xii. 281 

Burgoyne, General, arrives at Boston „ vol. xii. 430 

surprise vol. xii. 431 

cannonading at Bunker's Hill vol. xii. 447 

described vol. xii. 467 

history of vol. xii. 467 

accused by Junius vol. xii. 468 

"The Maid of the Oaks" vol. xii. 468 

Walpole's witticisms vol. xii. 468 

"The Heiress" praised by Walpole vol. xii. 468 

correspondence with Lee vol. xii. 489 

proposes an interview with Lee vol. xii. 489 

in Canada vol. xiii. 562 

pursues Sullivan vol. xiii. 564 

reported arrival at Quebec , vol. xiii. 425 

plan of campaign vol. xiii. 433 

leaves St. John's vol. xiii. 434 

on Lake Champlain vol. xiii. 437 

arrives at Crown Point vol. xiii. 438 

advancing vol. xiii. 441 

issues proclamation vol. xiii. 442 

fortifies Mount Hope vol. xiii. 448 

pursues the flotilla vol. xiii. 452 

moves toward the Hudson vol. xiii. 486 

reaches Fort Anne vol. xiii. 486 

feeling toward Indians vol. xiii. 487 

murder of Miss McCrea vol. xiii. 488 

at Fort Edward vol. xiii. 490 

difficulties at vol. xiii. 493 

opposite Saratoga vol. xiii. 508 

hears of Baum's surrender .vol. xiii. 514 

correspondence with Gates vol. xiii. 520 

dubious position vol. xiii. 546 

to Lord Germaine on his prospects .vol. xiii. 547 

498 Ipdex 

silent preparations vol. xiii. 550 

moves across the Hudson vol. xiii. 551 

march of his army , . . .vol. xiii. 551 

encamps near Gates vol. xiii. 553 

plan of battle vol. xiii. 554 

attacked by Arnold vol. xiii. 555 

on the situation of the ladies vol. xiii. 557 

critical situation vol. xiii. 559 

news from Clinton vol. xiii. 559 

sends word to Clinton vol. xiii. 559 

harassed by the Americans vol. xiii. 560 

within intrenchments vol. xiii. 568 

movement against Gates vol. xiv. 25 

prepares for battle vol. xiv. 26 

retreats to his camp vol. xiv. 28 

shifts his position vol. xiv. 30 

determines on retreat vol. xiv. 31 

at the burial of General Fraser vol. xiv. 31 

dismal retreat vol. xiv. 33 

concerning Lady Ackland vol. xiv. 33 

reaches Saratoga vol. xiv. 34 

destruction of Schuyler's property vol. xiv. 35 

calls a council of war vol. xiv. 39 

fortifies his camp vol. xiv. 39 

capitulates vol. xiv. 40 

terms of capitulation vol. xiv. 40 

number of troops vol. xiv. 40 

meeting with Gates vol. xiv. 41 

kind reception by Schuyler vol. xiv. 46 

question of embarkation vol. xiv. 137 

Burke, Judge, denounces the Cincinnati vol. xv. 61 

Burke, Edmund, on the employment of men-of-war as custom- 
house officers vol. xii. 321 

on the state of affairs in America vol. xiii. 354 

Burr, Aaron, a volunteer vol. xii. 514 

Montgomery's aid-de-camp vol. xiii. 28 

on the designs of the British vol. xiii. 27 

on a reconnoitering expedition , , vol. xiv. 186 

Burton, Lieutenant-colonel, ordered to advance vol. xii. 202 

the detachments fall back upon him in confusion vol. xii. 204 

Bush, Crean vol. xiii. 62 

Bushnell's submarine battery vol. xiii. 219 

Buskirk, Major vol. xiv. 254 

Butler, Colonel, accompanies Wayne vol. xiv. 455 

Butler, General, re-enforces Greene vol. xiv. 50a 

at Guilford Court-house vol. xiv. 499 

Butler, Major-general, with General St. Clair vol. xv. 209 

killed vol. xv. 211 

Butler, Lieutenant-colonel, to intercept Colonel Simcoe vol. xiv. 542 

Ipdex 499 

Butler, Colonel, at Oriskany vol. xiii. 503 

Butler, Colonel John, commands expedition against Wyo- 
ming vol. xiv. 214 

at Wintermoot's Fort vol. xiv. 214 

battle of Wyoming vol. xiv. 214 

Butler, Colonel Richard, surprises a party of Hessians vol. xiv. 222 

Butler, Colonel Zebnlon, in command of Forty Fort vol. xiv. 214 

battle of Wyoming vol. xiv. 214 

Butlers of Tryon County vol. xiv. 216 

Bryant, Lieutenant, at Throg's Neck vol. xiii. 227 

Byrd, Colonel vol. xii. 261 

Byrd, Mr., visits the garrison vol. xiii. 147 

Byron, Admiral, arrives at New York vol. xiv. 223 

tries to entrap d'Estaing. . vol. xiv. 223 


Cadwalader, Colonel John, commands detachment of vol- 
unteers vol. xiii. 308 

stationed at Bristol vol. xiii. 308 

prevented by the ice vol. xiii. 308 

dilemma vol. xiii. 325 

marches to Burlington vol. xiii. 333 

to Washington, advising pursuit vol. xiii. 335 

sends in pursuit of Donop vol. xiii. 336 

at Crosswicks vol. xiii. 344 

CADWALADER, Lambert vol. xiii. 141 

at Fort Washington vol. xiii. 232 

posted in the outer lines vol. xiii. 262 

forced to retreat vol. xiii. 264 

Caldwell, Reverend James, the "rousing gospel preacher".. vol. xiv. 269 

his church burned vol. xiv. 269 

his return home vol. xiv. 318 

in the fight at Springfield vol. xiv. 322 

Caldwell, Mrs., killed by the British vol. xiv. 317 

popular excitement vol. xiv. 319 

Callbeck, Mr., taken prisoner vol. xii. 561 

to Washington vol. xii. 561 

Calvert, Benedict vol. xii. 357 

Cambridge, assembling of patriots vol. xii. 383 

Camden, battle of vol. xiv. 346 

flight of American militia vol. xiv. 346 

burned by the British vol. xiv. 548 

Campbell, Colonel William, pursues Major Ferguson vol. xiv. 432 

in the battle of King's Mountain vol. xiv. 432 

at Guilford Court-house vol. xiv. 499 

at Eutaw Springs vol. xiv. 586 

charges the British vol. xiv. 586 

his death vol. xiv. 588 

Campbell, Colonel, orders a retreat vol. xiii. 33 

500 Ii)dex 

Campbell, Lieutenant-colonel, to attack Fort Montgomery... vol. xiv. 566 

checked by the Americans vol. xiv. 568 

killed vol. xiv. 570 

thrown into jail vol. xiii. 368 

appeals to Washington vol. xiii. 368 

exchanged for Ethan Allen vol. xiv. 160 

to surprise New Tappan vol. xiv. 218 

sails for Georgia vol. xiv. 223 

lands his troops vol. xiv. 224 

defeats the Americans , vol. xiv. 224 

takes Savannah vol. xiv. 225 

moderate conduct vol. xiv. 266 

detached against Augusta vol. xiv. 194 

Campbell, Lord, wounded at Sullivan's Island vol. xiii. 150 

Campbell, Major, takes Ethan Allen prisoner vol. xii. 523 

killed vol. xiv. 600 

Canada, campaign against vol. xii. 248 

project of invasion vol. xii. 497 

defenses and disposition vol. xii. 497 

force of the enemy in vol. xiii. 102 

expedition against, projected vol. xiv. 100 

found impracticable vol. xiv. 117 

suspended by Congress .vol. xiv. 121 

Lafayette's scheme against vol. xiv. 227 

Washington's opposition to voL, xiv. 227 

abandoned - vol. xiv. 228 

Cape Breton to be reduced vol. xii. 262 

Caramhe, Lieutenant-governor, apprised of Arnold's designs.. vol. xii. 575 

Carleton, Colonel Guy, commands the Grenadiers vol. xii. 286 

commands the battery at the Isle of Orleans vol. xii. 286 

persuades Indians to war against the Americans vol. xii. 510 

amount of forces vol. xii. 544 

embarks for Montreal vol. xii. 546 

attacked by Colonel Warner vol. xii. 547 

retreats to Montreal vol. xii. 547 

flies from Montreal vol. xii. 552 

escapes in disguise vol. xii. 552 

arrives at Quebec vol. xii. 554 

strength of force voL xii. 586 

treatment of Montgomery's messengers vol. xiii. 26 

captures Dearborn and party vol. xiii. 35 

re-enforced vol. xiii. 81 

makes a sortie vol. xiii. 81 

Americans retreat vol. xiii. 82 

treatment of Americans vol. xiii. 83 

plan of campaign vol. xiii. 94 

armament completed vol. xiii. 94 

takes possession of Crown Point vol. xiii. 259 

return to Canada vol. xiii. 259 

fr>dex 501 

to remain in Canada vol. xiii. 433 

arrives at New York vol. xiv. 618 

to Washington on negotiations for peace vol. xiv. 620 

to Washington on peace vol. xv. 31 

preparation to evacuate New York vol. xv. 34 

interview with Washington vol. xv. 34 

evacuates New York vol. xv. 47 

Carleton, Major, captures Forts Anne and George vol. xiv. 577 

Carlisle, Earl of, commissioner from Great Britain vol. xiv. 162 

state of Philadelphia vol. xiv. 162 

to George Selwyn vol. xiv. 167 

Carnes, Captain, discovers Champe's escape vol. xiv. 410 

Carpenter, Captain, joins Lord Stirling vol. xiii. 175 

Carrington, Lieutenant, at Quimby's Creek vol. xiv. 554 

Carroll, of Carrollton, and Miss Custis vol. xv. 364 

Caswell, General, on the road to Camden vol. xiv. 342 

at the battle of Camden vol. xiv. 345 

Cedars, affair at vol. xiii. 93 

Chadd's Ford vol. xiii. 531 

Chamberlayne, Mr., asks Washington to dinner vol. xii. 271 

Champe, John, scheme to entrap Arnold vol. xiv. 410 

pretended desertion vol. xiv. 411 

enlists in Arnold's corps vol. xiv. 412 

failure of his plan vol. xiv. 413 

rewarded vol. xiv. 413 

Cham plain, Lake, engagement vol. xiii. 255 

killed and wounded vol. xiii. 259 

Chapman, Colonel vol. xii. 184 

Charleston fortified vol. xiii. 146 

joy at General Lee's arrival vol. xiii. 146 

expedition against vol. xiv. 262 

defenses of , vol. xiv. 287 

re-enforced vol. xiv. 304 

strength of garrison vol. xiv. 305 

summoned to surrender vol. xiv. 305 

British batteries opened on vol. xiv. 306 

capitulates vol. xiv. 310 

loss in the siege vol. xiv. 310 

Charlestown, arsenal sacked vol. xii. 389 

burned vol. xii. 446 

alarm during the play vol. xiii. 47 

Charlestown Neck to be seized by the Americans vol. xii. 433 

reconnoitered vol. xii. 434 

described vol. xii. 435 

Charlottesville, Tarleton enters vol. xiv. 540 

Chastellux, Marquis de, arrives at Newport vol. xiv. 328 

introduced to Washington vol. xiv. 420 

description of his visit vol. xiv. 535 

reconnoiesance vol. xiv. 572 

502 Ii?dex 

at Mount ^Vernon vol. xiv. 572 

anecdote of Mr. Secretary Nelson . . , vol. xiv. 593 

Chatham, Lord, on the opposition of the colonists to the 

Mutiny vol. xii. 331 

opinion of the General Congress vol. xii. 383 

vain efforts in behalf of America vol. xii. 402 

conciliatory bill vol. xii. 404 

Chatterton's Hill, military position vol. xiii. 244 

attack of the British vol. xiii. 242 

killed and wounded vol. xiii. 242 

Cheeseman, Captain, before Quebec vol. xiii. 31 

death vol. xiii. 32 

Cherry Valley, atrocities at vol. xiv. 232 

Chesapeake, expedition against vol. xiv. 241 

Chesterfield Court House, British maraud vol. xiv. 521 

Chestnut Hill, British encamped on , . . .vol. xiv. 92 

Chestnut Neck, village destroyed by the British vol. xiv. 220 

Chew, Benjamin, mansion of vol. xiv. 48 

Chew's House, fortified by Musgrave vol. xiv. 51 

Cheyney, Thomas vol. xiii. 533 

Choisy, General M. de, arrives with troops. vol. xiv. 576 

crosses York River vol. xiv. 583 

skirmish with Tarleton .vol. xiv. 583 

Chouin, Major, at the American headquarters vol. xiv. 198 

Church, Dr. Benjamin, treasonable letter vol. xii. 530 

sentence vol. xii. 531 

mitigation of sentence — death vol. xii. 531 

Cincinnati, Society of, formed vol. xv. 35 

popular jealousy of . . . vol. xv. 62 

modification of its constitution vol. xv. 62 

Cincinnati, Society of Massachusetts, address to Washington.. vol. xv. 161 

Clark, Colonel, joins Marion vol. xiv. 438 

Clarke, Colonel Elijah, on the retreat vol. xiv. 428 

Clermont, exploit of Col. Washington at vol. xiv. 444 

Cleveland, Colonel, in the battle of King's Mountain vol. xiv. 433 

Clinton, Charles vol. xiv. 464 

Clinton, George, conferences with Washington vol. xiii. 89 

descent and career vol. xiii. 89 

on the alert for the British vol. xiii. 123 

promptness in raising levies. vol. xiii. 123 

sagacious measures vol. xiii. 124 

visits Forts Constitution and Montgomery vol. xiii. 125 

arrival of re-enforcement vol. xiii. 125 

to Washington on the patriotism of the country people.. vol. xiii. 126 

precautions against British ships , . vol. xiii. 133 

contemplates descent on Long Island .vol. xiii. 213 

on military exigencies. o » vol. xiii. 244 

stationed in the Highlands .•••*. . .vol. xiii. 248 

safety of the Hudson ••«••••••••« ?•<.*<-.. .vol. xiii. 281 

Ir>dex 503 

affair between Generals Lee and Heath „ vol. xiii. 

commands the Highlands forts vol. xiii. 412 

promoted vol. xiii. 412 

his patriotism vol. xiii. 412 

to Washington on his defenses vol. xiii. 413 

governor of New York vol. xiii. 468 

on the alert vol. xiii. 478 

at Kingston vol. xiii. 563 

hastens to the Highlands vol. xiii. 563 

prepares for an attack vol. xiii. 567 

escape vol. xiii. 568 

measures to oppose the British vol. xiii. 571 

intercepts a letter from Clinton to Burgoyne vol. xiii. 573 

reaches Kingston too late vol. xiii. 573 

wishes to strengthen the defenses of the Hudson vol. xiv. 76 

finds money for Hamilton vol. xiv. 79 

tour with Washington vol. xv. 43 

summons State council at East Chester vol. xv. 47 

at Harlem vol. xv. 48 

enters New York vol. xv. 48 

receives Washington at New York vol. xv. 99 

Clinton, General James vol. xiii. 89 

Clinton, James, at the Highlands vol. xiii. 89 

descent and career vol. xiii. 90 

appointed to command Forts Montgomery and Consti- 
tution vol. xiii. 98 

the conspiracy in New York vol. xiii. 108 

put on the alert vol. xiii. 223 

in command of Fort Clinton vol. xiii. 565 

narrow escape vol. xiii. 569 

joins Sullivan vol. xiv. 236 

in command of the Northern department. vol. xiv. 415 

CLINTON, Sir Henry, arrives at Boston vol. xii. 430 

joins Howe at Bunker's Hill vol. xii. 448 

described vol. xii. 467 

arrives at New York Harbor vol. xiii. 40 

interview with the mayor vol. xiii. 40 

departure vol. xiii. 41 

expedition to the South vol. xii. 146 

lands at Long Island, S. C vol. xii. 146 

constructs batteries vol. xii. 147 

attempts to cross from Long Island vol. xii. 148 

repulsed in another attempt vol. xii. 148 

arrival at New York vol. xii. 157 

lands on Long Island vol. xii. 167 

at Flatlands vol. xii. 169 

marches from Flatlands vol. xii. 172 

secures the Bedford Pass vol. xii. 172 

crosses from Long Island • <>...<> vol. xii. 197 

504 Ipdex 

Clinton, Sir Henry, advances against White Plains. vol. xii. 239 

awaits re-enforcements vol. xiii. 562 

moves up the Hudson vol. xiii. 564 

lands at Verplanck's Point vol. xiii. 565 

plan of operations . vol. xiii. 565 

crosses to Stony Point vol. xiii. 565 

marches round the Dunderberg vol. xiii. 566 

divides his force vol. xiii. 566 

meets with opposition vol. xiii. 568 

letter to Burgoyne intercepted vol. xiii. 573 

project to capture vol. xiv. 147 

plan to entrap Lafayette vol. xiv. 158 

ordered to evacuate Philadelphia vol. xiv. 163 

informs Washington of the arrival of commissioners,... vol. xiv. 165 

evacuates Philadelphia vol. xiv. 170 

dilatory movements vol. xiv. 172 

at Allentown vol. xiv. 172 

changes plan of route vol. xiv. 173 

changes the line of march vol. xiv. 174 

encamps near Monmouth Court-house vol. xiv. 175 

battle of Monmouth Court-house vol. xiv. 180 

falls back vol. xiv. 181 

silent retreat vol. xiv. 183 

arrives at Sandy Hook vol. xiv. 183 

arrives at Newport vol. xiv. 209 

returns to New York vol. xiv. 209 

sends troops into the Jerseys and Westchester County.. .vol. xiv. 217 

sets on foot a naval expedition against St. Lucia vol. xiv. 223 

confined to predatory warfare vol. xiv. 237 

expedition up the Hudson vol. xiv. 239 

takes Stony Point vol. xiv. 239 

captures Fort Lafayette vol. xiv. 240 

returns to New York vol. xiv. 241 

desolating expedition against Connecticut vol. xiv. 242 

capture of Stony Point by Wayne vol. xiv. 246 

hastens up the Hudson vol. xiv. 248 

fortifies and garrisons Stony Point vol. xiv. 249 

returns to Philipsburg vol. xiv. 249 

concentrates his forces at New York vol. xiv. 258 

expedition to South Carolina vol. xiv. 262 

damage during the voyage vol. xiv. 285 

at Tybee Bay vol. xiv. 285 

disembarks at St. John's Island vol. xiv. 286 

advance to Charleston vol. xiv. 286 

on Charleston Neck vol. xiv. 287 

re-enforced vol. xiv. 309 

fall of Charleston vol. xiv. 310 

sends expeditions into the interior vol. xiv. 313 

garrisons South Carolina vol. xiv. 314 

Ir>dex 505 

issues a proclamation vol. xiv. 314 

embarks for New York vol. xiv. 315 

arrives at New York vol. xiv. 321 

project against Rhode Island vol. xiv. 333 

changes his plan vol. xiv. 333 

correspondence with Arnold vol. xiv. 355 

releases Arnold's crew vol. xiv. 381 

to Washington, claiming the release of Andre vol. xiv. 389 

rejects exchange of Arnold for Andre vol. xiv. 393 

sends commission relative to Andre vol. xiv. 394 

detaches Arnold to Virginia vol. xiv. 438 

proceedings on the revolt of Pennsylvania line vol. xiv. 455 

on the destruction of Cornwallis's baggage vol. xiv. 479 

to Cornwallis for troops » vol. xiv. 537 

hears of the Virginia expedition vol. xiv. 565 

promised relief to Cornwallis „ vol. xiv. 580 

tardy movements vol. xiv. 605 

refuses to deliver the murderer of Captain Huddy vol. xiv. 614 

recalled at his own request vol. xiv. 618 

Closter Dock, landing of British vol. xiii. 273 

Clough, Major, killed vol. xiv. 224 

Coates, Lieutenant-colonel, at Monk's Corner vol. xiv. 551 

decamps in silence... , vol. xiv. 553 

bold stand .vol. xiv. 553 

Cobble Hill fortified by Putnam vol. xii. 566 

Cochran, Major, expedition against the Onondagas vol. xiv. 236 

Cochrane, Major, march from Savannah vol. xiv. 304 

Coffin, Major, put to flight vol. xiv. 586 

Colburn, Colonel, watches the enemy vol. xiii. 550 

Colden, Lieutenant-governor, retires into the fort vol. xii. 327 

assailed by the mob vol. xii. 327 

burned in effigy vol. xii. 327 

Cole, Colonel vol. xii. 228 

Collier, Admiral Sir G., convoys expedition to Chesapeake.. vol. xiv.- 237 

expedition up the Hudson vol. xiv. 239 

convoys expedition against Connecticut vol. xiv. 241 

confers with Sir Henry Clinton vol. xiv. 247 

arrives at the Penobscot vol. xiv. 252 

relieves the fort vol. xiv. 252 

Commissariat, changes in vol. xiii. 473 

Commissioners arrive from Great Britain vol. xiv. 162 

land at Philadelphia vol. xiv. 162 

letter to Congress vol. xiv. 164 

unsuccessful attempts at negotiation vol. xiv. 165 

embark for England vol. xiv. 165 

Committee of Arrangement, appointed by Congress vol. xiv. 146 

report on the sufferings of the army vol. xiv. 134 

Committee of Conference with Lord Howe vol. xiii. 197 

conference vol. xiii. 199 

Vol. XV.— ***22 

506 Ipdex 

Committee of Inquiry visit Arnold vol. xii. 500 

their instructions vol. xii. 500 

Committee of Safety vol. xii. 397 

suspect a design on the magazine at Concord vol. xii. 406 

urge the enlistment of troops vol. xii. 414 

appoint Arnold Colonel vol. xii. 417 

Conciliatory bills sent to America vol. xiv. 152 

effect of vol. xiv. 155 

Concord, military stores collected at vol. xii. 398 

expedition against vol. xii. 404 

alarm of the people vol. xii. 404 

advance of the British vol. xii. 406 

take possession of the town vol. xii. 407 

destroy the stores vol. xii. 408 

British attacked vol. xii. 408 

British retreat harassed by the Americans vol. xii. 409 

Confederacy, ratification of the vol. xiv. 460 

Congress (General) recommended by the Virginia House of 

Burgesses vol. xii. 365 

first meeting fixed upon vol. xii. 365 

assembled vol. xii. 377 

prayers vol. xii. 378 

rumors that Boston had been cannonaded vol. xii. 379 

opening speeches vol. xii. 381 

declaration of colonial rights vol. xii. 382 

resolutions vol. xii. 382 

state papers vol. xii. 382 

held at New York vol. xii. 326 

denounces the acts of Parliament vol. xii. 326 

address to the king and petition to Parliament vol. xii. 327 

its discussion vol. xii. 384 

masterly state papers vol. xii. 384 

the second general vol. xii. 421 

petition to the king moved vol. xii. 421 

federal union formed vol. xii. 422 

council of twelve vol. xii. 422 

exercise their federated powers vol. xii. 422 

retaliating decree vol. xii. 423 

declare Massachusetts absolved from the crown vol. xii. 423 

adopt the army vol. xii. 426 

elect Washington commander-in-chief vol. xii. 426 

other military appointments vol. xii. 427 

on the English generals vol. xii. 466 

on General Howe vol. xii. 466 

accept Ticonderoga vol. xii. 497 

determine to invade Canada vol. xii. 502 

committee from, confer with Washington vol. xii. 535 

order formation of a new army vol. xii. 536 

to Schuyler on his proposed resignation vol. xii. 552 

Ii>dex 507 

Congress order Schuyler to Try on County vol. xiii. 37 

applaud Schuyler's conduct vol. xiii. 38 

divide the middle and southern colonies into two depart- 
ments vol. xiii. 70 

enlistment act vol. xiii. 88 

establish a war office vol. xiii. 88 

declare the United States free and independent vol. xiii. 118 

adopt the Declaration of Independence vol. xiii. 119 

settle dispute between Schuyler and Gates vol. xiii. 138 

action on Lord Howe's overtures vol. xiii. 196 

appoint a committee to confer with Lord Howe vol. xiii. 197 

leave the question of the abandonment of New York to 

Washington's discretion vol. xiii. 201 

forbid the destruction of New York vol. xiii. 302 

reorganizes the army vol. xiii. 215 

requests Washington to obstruct the Hudson vol. xiii. 230 

clothes Washington with additional powers vol. xiii. 307 

invests Washington with dictatorial powers vol. xiii. 335 

refuses to comply with Lee's request vol. xiii. 366 

retaliatory measures vol. xiii. 366 

declines the resignation of Schuyler vol. xiii. 387 

reprimands Schuyler vol. xiii. 387 

makes Arnold Major-general vol. xiii. 401 

vote Arnold a horse vol. xiii. 401 

refuse to admit Gates to the floor vol. xiii. 411 

summon Schuyler and St. Clair vol. xiii. 471 

appoint Gates to the command of the northern depart- 
ment vol. xiii. 472 

proceedings of, at the battle of Brandy wine vol. xiii. 538 

anonymous letter to, against Washington vol. xiv. 107 

refuses to treat with Great Britain , vol. xiv. 153 

recommend the pardoning of Tories vol. xiv. 153 

ratifies treaties with France vol. xiv. 155 

reception of the dispatches of the British commissioners. vol. xiv. 165 

reply to the commissioners vol. xiv. 165 

refuse to negotiate with Johnstone vol. xiv. 166 

approves the sentence of Lee vol. xiv. 191 

informs Washington of the arrival of the French fleet. . .vol. xiv. 197 

approve of d'Estaing's conduct vol. xiv. 211 

approve Lafayette's Canada scheme vol. xiv. 227 

deterioration of vol. xiv. 229 

vote a gold medal to Major Henry Lee . vol. xiv. 255 

financial difficulties vol. xiv. 265 

charges against Arnold vol. xiv. 276 

order court-martial on Arnold vol. xiv. 278 

confirms sentence against Arnold , vol. xiv. 280 

• jealousy of military powers vol. xiv. 293 

appoint a committee to confer with Washington vol. xiv. 293 

appoint Gates to the southern department vol. xiv. 327 

508 Ii>dex 

accepts Greene's resignation vol. xiv. 335 

rewards the captors of Andre vol. xiv. 403 

order a court of inquiry into the conduct of Gates vol. xiv. 413 

new system for the organization and support of the army.vol. xiv. 416 

send Colonel Laurens to France. vol. xiv. 449 

committee to meet Pennsylvania insurgents vol. xiv. 455 

appoints heads of departments vol. xiv. 463 

rejoicings at the surrender of Yorktown vol. xiv. 606 

resolutions concerning Lafayette vol. xiv. 611 

murder of Captain Huddy vol. xiv. 614 

proclamation concerning peace vol. xv. 31 

resolution concerning the service of the soldiers vol. xv. 33 

threatened by mutineers vol. xv. 41 

discharge of the army vol. xv. 44 

resignation of Washington vol. xv. 52 

its composition vol. xv. 145 

reassembles vol. xv. 166 

assumption of State debts discussed vol. xv. 176 

adopted vol. xv. 178 

discords in vol. xv. 181 

reassembles at Philadelphia vol. xv. 192 

impost and excise bill vol. xv. 192 

assembling of the second vol. xv. 206 

apportionment bill vol. xv. 217 

assembles December, 1793 vol. xv. 284 

does justice to Washington vol. xv. 286 

bill to increase naval force vol. xv. 293 

Washington's denunciation of secret societies vol. xv. 311 

response to Washington vol. xv. 335 

reply to Washington's last address vol. xv. 351 

authorizes the enlistment of a provisional army vol. xv. 375 

Congress (Massachusetts) at Boston.. vol. xii. 390 

adjourn to Concord vol. xii. 396 

assume supreme authority vol. xii. 397 

remonstrate with Governor Gage vol. xii. 397 

system and order vol. xii. 398 

nominate general officers vol. xii. 398 

Connecticut abets the opposition of Massachusetts vol. xii. 376 

sends volunteers vol. xii. 414 

Legislature of, favor the surprisal of Ticonderoga and 

Crown Point .-. .vol. xii. 414 

committee appointed .vol. xii. 415 

Massachusetts and Rhode Island fit out armed vessels. . .vol. xii. 530 

troops desert vol. xii. 559 

reception at home vol. xii. 559 

troops described by Graydon vol. xiii. 141 

by Washington vol. xiii. 143 

dingy regimentals vol. xiii. 143 

their composition vol. xiii. 144 

Irjdex 509 

British expedition against .vol. xiv. 240 

Connecticut Farms sacked by the enemy vol. xiv. 316 

Conspiracy in New York . vol. xiii. 106 

letter relative to (note) vol. xiii. 110 

its ramifications vol. xiii. Ill 

Constitution of the United States, formation of. vol. xv. 99 

opposition to vol. xv. 122 

Continental Army. (See American Army.) 

Contrecceur, Captain, surprises the fort , vol. xii. 98 

Contributions for the Continental Army vol. xiv. 327 

Convention of Virginia at Williamsburg .vol. xii. 370 

at Richmond vol. xii. 370 

for considering and revising the federal system vol. xv. 98 

Conway's Cabal vol. xiv. 64 

Conway, General, appointed brigadier-general vol. xiii. 391 

character of vol. xiii. 391 

in Washington's camp vol. xiii. 526 

gallant conduct vol. xiii. 538 

pretensions of , vol. xiv. 64 

joins faction opposed to Washington vol. xiv. 65 

correspondence with Gates vol. xiv. 68 

attempts at explanation vol. xiv. 68 

sends in his resignation vol. xiv. 68 

promoted. vol. xiv. 92 

to Washington on his letter vol. xiv. 113 

remains at Albany vol. xiv. 115 

to be appointed to the Canada expedition vol. xiv. 109 

Lafayette's opinion of vol. xiv. 110 

downfall of vol. xiv. 150 

resignation accepted vol. xiv. 150 

fails to get reinstated vol. xiv. 150 

duel of Cadwalader (note) vol. xiv. 151 

penitential letter to Washington (note) vol. xiv. 151 

subsequent history (note) vol. xiv. 151 

Cook, James, in the expedition against Quebec vol. xii. 286 

sounds the river , vol. xii. 291 

Copp's Hill, British battery on vol. xii. 437 

Corbie's Tavern vol. xiii. 107 

rendezvous of conspirators vol. xiii. 107 

Cornplanter, at the seat of government vol. xv. 196 

Cornwallis, Lord, arrival at New York. vol. xiii. 156 

lands on Long Island vol. xiii. 167 

advances against Hand vol. xiii. 167 

posts for the night at Platbush vol. xiii. 167 

leaves Flatbush with a rear-guard vol. xiii. 172 

crosses the Hudson above Fort Lee vol. xiii. 273 

marches against Washington vol. xiii. 299 

at the Delaware vol. xiii. 294 

gives up the pursuit vol. xiii. 294 

510 Ipdex 

Cornwallis, Lord, at New York vol. xiii. 308 

resumes command in the Jerseys vol. xiii. 337 

approaches the American forces vol. xiii. 339 

enters Trenton vol. xiii. 339 

repulsed by Washington vol. xiii. 339 

alarm at the escape of Washington vol. xiii. 34$ 

pushes forward to Princeton vol. xiii. 348 

arrives at Brunswick vol. xiii. 349 

irksome position vol. xiii. 352 

to Washington concerning Hessian prisoners. vol. xiii. 354 

gains Washington's rear vol. xiii. 535 

advances to the attack vol. xiii. 535 

marches into Philadelphia vol. xiii. 538 

pursues the Americans vol. xiv. 53 

takes Fort Mercer vol. xiv. 61 

sent into the Jerseys vol. xiv. 217 

in the expedition against South Carolina vol. xiv. 263 

completes the investment of Charleston vol. xiv. 31 1 

moves against Colonel Buford vol. xiv. 311 

approves of Tarleton's conduct vol. xiv. 313 

headquarters at Charleston vol. xiv. 338 

at Camden vol. xiv. 344 

amount of force vol. xiv. 344 

sends in pursuit of Sumter vol. xiv. 347 

vigorous measures , vol. xiv. 349 

takes post at Charlotte vol. xiv. 348 

returns to South Carolina vol. xiv. 435 

takes post at Winnsborough vol. xiv. 436 

plan for invading North Carolina vol. xiv. 469 

pursues Morgan vol. xiv. 470 

at Ramsour's Mills vol. xiv. 479 

destroys his baggage vol. xiv. 479 

affair at McGowan's Ford vol. xiv. 483 

encamped at Salem vol. xiv. 486 

amount of force vol. xiv. 486 

march to the Dan vol. xiv. 487 

retrograde movement — vol. xiv. 491 

takes post at Hillsborough „ vol. xiv. 491 

proclamation vol. xiv. 491 

encamps near Alamance Creek vol. xiv. 495 

attacks the Americans at Wetzell's Mill .vol. xiv. 496 

battle of Guilford Court-house vol. xiv. 498 

retreats to Cross Creek vol. xiv. 505 

number of troops vol. xiv. 497 

at Guilford Court-house vol. xiv. 498 

retreats to Wilmington. . .< vol. xiv. 508 

perplexities vol. xiv. 508 

sets off for Virginia vol. xiv. 511 

arrives at Petersburg vol. xiv. 524 

JQdex 511 

amount of force vol. xiv. 524 

renewed hope vol. xiv. 525 

movement against Lafayettee vol. xiv. 539 

re-enforced vol. xiv. 539 

pursues Lafayette vol. xiv. 540 

retrograde march vol. xiv. 542 

at Williamsburg vol. xiv. 543 

sets out for Portsmouth vol. xiv. 543 

takes post at Yorktown vol. xiv. 568 

feeling of security vol. xiv. 568 

arrival of De Grasse vol. xiv. 570 

retreat cut off vol. xiv. 569 

to Clinton on promised relief vol. xiv. 579 

draws within the town vol. xiv. 579 

to Clinton, critical situation vol. xiv. 599 

plan of escape vol. xiv. 600 

proposes a capitulation vol. xiv. 617 

capitulates vol. xiv. 618 

humiliation vol. xiv. 620 

treatment by the captors vol. xiv. 621 

sails for New York on parole vol. xiv. 623 

Corresponding Committees vol. xii. 363 

Coryell's Ferry, Washington at vol. xiii. 466 

Council at Alexandria vol. xii. 168 

Council of Indians at Logstown vol. xii. 90 

Courtney, Captain, killed in action .vol. xv. 278 

Cow Boys vol. xiv. 367 

Cowpens, situation of vol. xiv. 473 

battle of vol. xiv. 475 

killed and wounded vol. xiv. 476 

spoils taken vol. xiv. 476 

Cox, Colonel, dispute with General Herkimer vol. xiii. 497 

shot down , vol. xiii. 500 

Craigie, Andrew (note) vol. xii. 474 

Craigie House (note) vol. xii. 474 

Craik, Dr. James vol. xii. 151 

advises Washington to retire to Mount Vernon vol. xii. 259 

a visitor at Mount Vernon vol. xii. 303 

accompanies Washington vol. xii. 346 

at Mount Vernon — vol. xii. 399 

appointed to the Hospital department vol. xiii. 417 

to Washington on his secret enemies vol. xiv. 105 

application to Washington vol. xv. 56 

accompanies Washington vol. xv. 63 

attends Washington vol. xv. 594 

Crawford, Hugh, brings a message from the Miami tribes.... vol. xii. 71 
Croghan, George, sent from Pennsylvania to treat with the 

Indians vol. xii. 72 

appointed commissioner vol. xii. 161 

512 Ipdex 

his reverses vol. xii. 161 

to Governor Morris vol. xii. 170 

enlists Indians and hunters vol. xii. 171 

letter vol. xii. 171 

arrives at Braddock's camp with Indians vol. xii. 179 

dangers and escapes vol. xii. 347 

Groton River vol. xiv. 526 

Crown Point, preparations against vol. xii. 415 

to be reduced vol. xii. 261 

expedition against , vol. xii. 230 

surprised by Seth Warner vol. xii. 419 

abandoned vol. xiii. 137 

abandoned by the Americans vol. xiii. 261 

Cruger, Lieutenant-colonel, commands expedition to the dis- 
trict of Ninety-Six. vol. xiv. 311 

commands at Ninety-Six .vol. xiv. 549 

Custis, John Parke, his estate vol. xii. 301 

Custis, John Parke, "Washington's conduct toward .vol. xii. 301 

character and education vol. xii. 356 

in love vol. xii. 356 

marriage vol. xii. 357 

death of vol. xiv. 609 

Custis, George W. P., accompanies Mrs. Washington vol. xv. 133 

Custis, Mrs. Martha, meeting with Washington vol. xiv. 272 

Custis, Miss, death of , vol. xiv. 356 

Custis, Eleanor, accompanies Mrs. Washington vol. xv. 133 

accompanies Washington vol. xv. 358 

described vol. xv. 362 

halcyon days, anecdote vol. xv. 364 

marries Lawrence Lewis vol. xv. 386 

Cutler, Yan Yost vol. xiii. 516 

in St. Leger's camp vol. xiii. 516 

Currency, derangement of vol. xiv. 265 

depreciation of vol. xiv. 280 

Cushing, Mrs., to her husband vol. xii. 390 

Cushing, Mr vol. xii. 423 

Cushing, William, judge of Supreme Court vol. xv. 144 

administers the oath of office to Washington vol. xv. 247 

Dagworthy, Captain vol. xii. 225 

Dallas, Mr., interview with Genet vol. xv. 268 

Danbury, expedition against vol. xiii. 396 

destroyed by the British .vol. xiii. 398 

Darke, Colonel, with General St. Clair vol. xv. 209 

at St. Clair's defeat vol. xv. 211 

Dartmouth, Lord, to General Gage vol. xii. 396 

D' Aubry attempts to relieve Fort Niagara vol. xii. 285 

is defeated vol. xii. 285 

Ipdex 513 

Davidson, John, Indian interpreter ..vol. xii. 93 

Davidson, General, at McGowan's Ford vol. xiv. 482 

death of vol. xiv. 483 

Davie, General, and Greene vol. xiv. 548 

Davie, William Richardson, on mission to France vol. xv. 388 

Davis, Reverend Samuel, appreciation of Washington vol. xii. 220 

Dayton, Colonel Elias, takes Johnson Hall vol. xiii. 95 

retires before Knyphausen vol. xiv. 316 

falls in with General Maxwell vol. xiv. 317 

fight at Springfield vol. xiv. 322 

Deane, Mr., and French officers vol. xiii. 390 

Deane, Silas, returns to America vol. xiv. 196 

Dearborn, Captain, captured by General Carleton vol. xiii. 34 

Dearborn, Major, receives Lady Ackland vol. xiv. 34 

De Barras, arrival at the Chesapeake vol. xiv. 575 

noble conduct vol. xiv. 575 

De Berdt, Dennis, on the mission of Lord Howe vol. xiii. 127 

Deborre, General , vol. xiii. 526 

resignation vol. xiii. 538 

Debt of the United States vol. xv. 169 

De Buysson, aid-de-camp to DeKalb vol. xiv. 347 

De Fermois, at Ticonderoga , vol. xiii. 435 

De Grasse, Count, bound for the Chesapeake vol. xiv. 560 

arrives in the Chesapeake vol. xiv. 573 

urges Lafayette to attack Yorktown vol. xiv. 574 

action with British fleet vol. xiv. 574 

junction with De Barras vol. xiv. 576 

receives Washington vol. xiv. 577 

arrival of Admiral Digby vol. xiv. 579 

consents to remain vol. xiv. 579 

departure vol. xiv. 608 

De Heister, Lieutenant-general, on Long Island vol. xiii. 171 

reaches Flatbush vol. xiii. 171 

cannonades Colonel Hand vol. xiii. 175 

advances against White Plains vol. xiii. 239 

treatment of Lord Stirling vol. xiii. 328 

De Kalb, Baron, at Philadelphia vol. xiii. 479 

appointed major-general vol. xiv. 63 

appointed to the Canada expedition vol. xiv. 110 

sent to re-enforce Lincoln vol. xiv. 290 

advance retarded vol. xiv. 341 

halts at Deep River vol. xiv. 341 

applications for aid vol. xiv. 342 

meeting with Gates vol. xiv. 342 

at the battle of Camden vol. xiv. 345 

death of vol. xiv. 347 

De La Croix, M., complaints against the American Govern- 
ment vol. xv. 345 

Dblancey, Lieutenant-governor vol. xii. 168 

614 Ipdex 

De Lancet, Oliver, recruiting on Long Island . .vol. xiii. 216 

Delancey, Colonel, loyalist vol. xiv. 526 

surprises Colonel Greene .vol. xiv. 527 

Delaplace, Captain, surprised by Ethan Allen vol. xii. 418 

sent prisoner to Hartford vol. xii. 419 

Dela wares, Shawnees, and Mingoes, in council at Logstown.. .vol. xii. 87 

De Levi, takes post at Oswegatchie *. vol. xii. 285 

rallies the French forces ; vol. xii. 297 

approaches Quebec vol. xii. 297 

lands at Point-au-Tremble vol. xii. 297 

is attacked by Murray.... .vol. xii. 298 

repulses him , vol. xii. 299 

opens trenches before Quebec vol. xii. 299 

retreat vol. xii. 299 

Democratic Society, formation of vol. xv. 273 

Democratic Societies, Washington concerning vol. xv. 310 

Democrats, party formed vol. xv. 195 

Denison, Colonel, at the battle of Wyoming vol. xiv. 214 

De Ramsey, commands the garrison at Quebec vol. xii. 296 

D'Estaing, Count, arrival with French fleet vol. xiv. 196 

to Washington, on his arrival vol. xiv. 196 

correspondence with Washington vol. xiv. 198 

plan of operations vol. xiv. 199 

off Point Judith vol. xiv. 200 

opposite Newport vol. xiv. 200 

arrival of Lord Howe's fleet vol. xiv. 201 

stands out to sea vol. xiv. 201 

maneuvers of the fleets vol. xiv. 202 

return to Newport vol. xiv. 202 

to Sullivan on his intention of proceeding to Boston vol. xiv. 202 

protest of American officers vol. xiv. 204 

proceeds to Boston vol. xiv. 204 

to Congress explanatory of his conduct vol. xiv. 212 

considerate letter from Washington vol. xiv. 213 

sails for the West Indies vol. xiv. 222 

proclamation to the French Canadians vol. xiv. 223 

arrival on the coast of Georgia vol. xiv. 258 

r.n >- zcessf ul siege of Savannah vol. xiv. 261 

wounded vol. xiv. 261 

sails for France .vol. xiv. 262 

Destotjches, Chevalier, to send ships to the Chesapeake vol. xiv. 511 

encounters the British fleet vol. xiv. 513 

Deuxponts, Count de, wounded vol. xiv. 598 

De Vaudreuil, fortifies himself at Montreal vol. xii. 299 

threatened by General Amherst vol. xii. 299 

capitulates , vol. xii. 300 

DICK, Dr., attends Washington vol. xv. 394 

Dickinson, drafts a petition to the king and an address to the 

people of Canada..... , vol. xii. 384 

Ir>dex 515 

Dickinson, General Philemon, gallant exploit of vol. xiii. 358 

to watch the enemy vol. xiv. 170 

alarm signals vol. xiv. 225 

Dickinson, Major, slain at Monmouth Court-house vol. xiv. 185 

Dieskau, Baron de, takes post at Crown Point vol. xii. 227 

mortally wounded vol. xii. 229 

Digby, Admiral, on negotiations for peace vol. xiv. 620 

Digges, Mr vol. xii. 311 

Dinwiddie, Governor vol. xii. 90 

calls upon the governors of the other provinces to make 

common cause against the foe vol. xii, 114 

convenes the House of Burgesses , vol. xii. 114 

to Washington about Captain Mackay vol. xii. 136 

orders Washington to Will's Creek vol. xii. 151 

his perplexities vol. xii. 151 

refuses to give up the French prisoners vol. xii. 153 

efforts to secure Indian allies vol. xii. 162 

convenes the Assembly vol. xii. 217 

conduct to Washington vol. xii. 218 

unsatisfactory relations with Washington vol. xii. 246 

his interference with Washington vol. xii. 246 

pique against Washington vol. xii. 247 

ungracious reply to Washington vol. xii. 250 

prejudice against Washington vol. xii. 257 

conduct toward Washington vol. xii. 257 

sails for England , vol. xii. 258 

character vol. xii. 258 

Dismal Swamp vol. xii. 313 

Dismal Swamp Company vol. xii. 313 

District of Columbia ceded to the United States vol. xv. 179 

Dobb's Ferry, British at vol. xiii. 248 

works thrown up vol. xiv. 334 

Donop, Count, at Long Island vol. xiii. 168 

storms the redoubt vol. xiii. 177 

crosses from Long Island vol. xiii. 205 

decoyed by Colonel Griffin vol. xiii. 331 

precipitate retreat vol. xiii. 331 

attacks Fort Mercer vol. xiv. 60 

repulsed vol. xiv. 61 

death of vol. xiv. 62 

Donop's Yagers surprised , vol. xiv. 221 

Dorchester Heights, to be fortified vol. xii. 435 

preparations to oocupy vol. xiii. 50 

letters relative to vol. xiii. 50 

fortifications of vol. xiii. 51 

effect on the British vol. xiii. 54 

cannonaded by the British vol. xiii. 53 

Drucour, Chevalier, in command of Louisburg vol. xii. 264 

defense and surrender vol. xii. 264 

516 Jr>dex 

Drummond's Pond , vol. xii. 314 

Duane, Mr., controversy with Gates vol. xiii. 411 

Duche, Mr., chaplain to the General Congress vol. xii. 378 

officiates ... .vol. xii. 378 

effect of prayer vol. xii. 379 

Ducoudray, Monsieur „ vol. xiii. 390 

Duer, William, to Schuyler „ vol. xiii. 470 

Dumas, Count Matthew, accompanies Washington vol. xiv. 375 

Washington's reception by the people vol. xiv. 375 

on the French camp , .vol. xiv. 533 

to Washington, with pamphlet vol. xv. 347 

Dunbar, Colonel vol. xii. 185 

his terror vol. xii. 207 

Dundas, Colonel, accompanies Arnold vol. xiv. 448 

commands at Gloucester Point vol. xiv. 580 

foraging .vol. xiv. 583 

capitulation of Yorkto wn vol. xiv. 603 

Dunmore, Earl of, Governor of Virginia vol. xii. 354 

lingers at New York. vol. xii. 354 

haughty bearing vol. xii. 354 

friendly relations with Washington vol. xii. 356 

social position vol. xii. 362 

dissolves the House of Burgesses. vol. xii. 363 

seizes the military munitions of Virginia vol. xii. 413 

timely concession vol. xii. 413 

proclaims martial law, vol. xii. 539 

exercises martial law vol. xii. 568 

to Howe, proposing a servile war. vol. xii. 581 

Washington's opinion of vol. xii. 582 

Dunmore, Lady, ball in honor of vol. xii. 363 

Duplessis, Captain Mauduit, at Fort Mercer voL xiv. 61 

attentions to Count Donop vol. xiv. 62 

Duportail, General, urges the evacuation of Charleston vol. xiv. 309 

reconnoiters vol. xiv. 535 

Durham, Bishop of, his state and splendor vol. xii. 26 

Durkee, Captain, joins Putnam vol. xii. 415 


East India Company, affected by the tax on tea vol. xii. 361 

ships large quantities to the colonies vol. xii. 361 

ships sent back unladen vol. xii. 362 

Easton, James, in the expedition against Ticonderoga vol. xii. 416 

Easton, Colonel, at Ticonderoga vol. xii. 501 

Eaton, General, re-enforces Greene vol. xiv. 498 

at Guilford Court-house vol. xiv. 498 

Eden, William, commissioner from Great Britain vol. xiv. 162 

disposition toward America vol. xiv. 162 

Edmonson, Captain, in command at Fort Pitt ... .vol. xii. 388 

Elizabethtown, Livingston's account of vol. xiii. 117 

surprised by the British . . . > vol. xiv. 263 

Ipdex 517 

Elizabeth town Point, descent of British vol. xiv. 315 

Elliot, Lieutenant-governor, on commission concerning 

Andre vol. xiv. 395 

Ellsworth, in the mission to France vol. xv. 387 

Emerson, Rev. William, description of American camp vol. xii. 471 

on the labors of the army vol. xii. 481 

discipline in camp vol. xii. 481 

England prepares for military operations in America vol. xii. 158 

plan of campaign vol. xii. 166 

detains vessels bound for France vol. xv. 283 

impressment of American seamen vol. xv. 283 

her infatuation vol. xii. 403 

restrictive policy vol. xii. 316 

English claims to the Ohio Valley vol. xii. 67 

English officers and Indian squaws vol. xii. 180 

luxurious habits vol. xii. 184 

their baggage and camp equipage vol. xii. 184 

bravery vol. xii. 200 

Enos, Colonel, leaves Arnold with his command vol. xii. 549 

Erskine, General Sir William, on Long Island vol. xiii. 167 

urges a night attack vol. xiii. 338 

in the expedition against Danbury vol. xiii, 394 

drives back the Americans vol. xiii. 398 

Eutaw Springs, battle of .vol. xiv. 587 

Evans, Rev. Mr., anecdote of vol. xiv. 582 

Everett, Edward, Washington on Dorchester Heights. vol. xiii. 56 

Ewing, Colonel, passage of British ships up the Hudson vol. xiii. 219 

Swing, General, prevented by the ice... vol. xiii. 323 

Eyre, Lieutenant-colonel, at New London vol. xiv. 565 

mortally wounded vol. xiv. 565 


Fairfax, Bryant, fox-hunting vol. xii. 309 

to Washington advising a petition „ .' vol. xii. 369 

to Washington on the resolutions vol. xii. 369 

to Washington in reply vol. xii. 370 

effect of the battle of Lexington vol. xii. 413 

visits Washington vol. xiv. 153 

to Washington on his courtesy vol. xiv. 153 

subsequent history (note) vol. xiv. 154 

Fairfax, Colonel, to Washington vol. xii. 234 

Fairfax, George William, fox-hunting vol. xii. 308 

departs for England, vol. xii. 307 

in England vol. xv. 62 

(note) vol. xv. 84 

Fairfax, Thomas Lord, his character and history vol. xii. 53 

his style of living vol. xii. 56 

organizes a troop of horse vol. xii. 220 

calls out the militia to defend Winchester vol. xii. 221 

menaced by Indians vol. xii. 231 

518 Ir>dex 

decides to remain ,vol. xii. 231 

occupations, fox hunting vol. xii. 232 

hunting vol. xii. 333 

his last days vol. xv. 61 

Fairfax, William vol. xii. 55 

his counsel to Washington - vol. xii. 137 

Fairfield destroyed by the British vol. xiv. 210 

Fair Haven ravaged by the British vol. xiv. 210 

Fairlie, Major, anecdote .vol. xv. 81 

Falls of Montmorency vol. xii. 285 

Falmouth destroyed by the British vol. xii. 532 

Faneuil Hall, British troops quartered in vol. xii. 333 

meetings at vol. xii. 375 

Fauchet, M., succeeds Genet vol. xii. 295 

intercepted dispatch vol. xv. 325 

exonerates Randolph vol. xv. 328 

Faulkner, Captain, with General St. Clair vol. xv. 210 

Fauquier, Francis, appointed to succeed Dinwiddie vol. xii. 260 

Fauquier, Lieutenant-governor, dissolves the assembly vol. xii. 323 

Federalist, The vol. xv. 126 

Federalists spring up vol. xv. 195 

Fellows, General, opposite Saratoga Ford vol. xiv. 31 

opens fire on the British vol. xiv. 35 

Felton, Professor, correction of error (note) vol. xii. 474 

Fenno's Gazette, Adams's papers vol. xv. 2O4 

Ferguson, Dr. Adam, secretary to commissioners from Great 

Britain vol. xiv. 162 

Ferguson, Major Patrick, commands expedition to Little 

Egg Harbor vol xiv. 220 

massacres American infantry vol. xiv. 221 

march from Savannah vol. xiv. 304 

described vol. xiv. 305 

on violence to women vol. xiv. 308 

detached to North Carolina vol. xiv. 425 

takes post at Gilberttown , vol. xiv. 428 

issues an address vol. xiv. 429 

retreats vol. xiv. 430 

takes post on King's Mountain vol. xiv. 431 

defeated vol. xiv. 432 

Fermois, Brigadier-general, accompanies Gates vol. xiii. 391 

Fersen, Count, to hurry on the French troops vol. xiv. 577 

Fire-ships, sent to destroy Wolfe's fleet vol. xii. 287 

Fishburn, Benjamin, nomination of vol. xv. 139 

Washington's reasons for vol. xv. 139 

Fishing in Virginia , vol. xii. 310 

Fishing Creek, defeat of Sumter vol. xiv. 349 

Fitzgerald, Colonel, at Princeton vol. xiii. 322 

FLAGG, Major, killed vol. xiv. 526 

Fleurt, Louis vol. xiii. 526 

Ipdex 519 

presented with a horse by Congress. vol. xiii. 538 

Col., at Fort Mifflin vol. xiv. 72 

promoted. vol. xiv. 74 

inspector vol. xiv. 157 

at the storming of Stony Point vol. xiv. 245 

Forbes, Brigadier-general, to reduce Fort Duquesne .vol. xii. 263 

detained at Philadelphia vol. xii. 270 

respect for Washington vol. xii. 278 

Forbes, Gilbert, conspirator. . .; vol. xiii. 107 

paid for arms vol. xiii. 108 

Foreign officers, applicants for admission to the patriot army. vol. xiii. 389 

embarrassments about vol. xiii. 390 

Forest, Captain vol. xiii. 320 

Fobbter, Captain, besieges the Cedars. vol. xiii. 92 

captures the post vol. xiii. 93 

Fort Anne captured vol. xiv. 414 

Fort Chamblee taken by Majors Brown and Livingston . . .vol. xii. 543 

Fort Clinton, its strength vol. xiii. 562 

attack of the British . vol. xiii. 567 

captured vol. xiii. 568 

Fort Constitution vol. xiii. 97 

its garrison voL xiii. 97, 196 

commanded by West Point vol. xiii. 97 

evacuated , vol. xiii. 571 

Fort Cumberland vol. xii. 150 

Fort Defiance vol. xiii. 449 

Fort Duquesne, its site vol. xii. 93 

completed vol. xii. 139 

Washington advises a rapid attack vol. xii. 185 

reports of scouts vol. xii. 190 

to be reduced ....vol. xii. 260 

abandoned by the French vol. xii. 282 

name changed to Fort Pitt vol. xii. 282 

Fort Edward vol. xii. 228 

Fort Frontenac captured vol. xii. 269 

Fort George captured by Carleton vol. xiv. 414 

Fort George at Coram taken vol. xiv. 424 

Fort Griswold taken by the British vol. xiv. 566 

Fort Independence vol. xiii. 98 

abandoned vol. xiii. 247 

Fort Independence, evacuated by the Americans vol. xiii. 571 

evacuated by the British? vol. xiv. 44 

Fort Johnson vol. xiii. 146 

Fort Lafayette, cannonaded vol. xiv. 239 

capitulates vol. xiv. 239 

Fort Lee vol. xiii. 231 

menaced vol. xiii. 262 

preparations to abandon vol. xiii. 271 

retreat from vol. xiii. 276 

520 Ipdex 

Fort Loudoun vol. xii. 243 

Fort Mercer vol. xiv. 45 

garrison of vol. xiv. 58 

Washington on importance of vol. xiv. 59 

attacked by Count Donop vol. xiv. 59 

garrison increased vol. xiv. 72 

taken by Cornwallis vol. xiv. 81 

Fort Mifflin vol. xiv. 45 

garrison of vol. xiv. 58 

repulses naval attack vol. xiv. 61 

garrison increased vol. xiv. 72 

attacked by Howe vol. xiv. 72 

evacuated vol. xiv. 80 

Fort Montgomery vol. xiii. 97 

its garrison vol. xiii. 97 

the chevaux-de-f rise vol. xiii. 564 

stormed by the British vol. xiii. 565 

Fort Moultrie, surrendered vol. xiv. 310 

Fort Motte, taken by Marion and Lee vol. xiv. 548 

Fort Necessity vol. xii. 136, 142 

capitulation of , vol. xii. 144 

Fort Niagara, besieged , .vol. xii. 284 

surrenders vol. xii. 284 

Fort Ninety-Six, siege of vol. xiv. 545 

Fort Pitt vol. xii. 283 

blockaded by Indians vol. xii. 315 

Fort Schuyler, invested by Colonel St. Leger vol. xiii. 494 

its strength and garrison vol. xiii. 494 

summoned to surrender vol. xiii. 495 

news of relief vol. xiii. 495 

expedition against the Onondagas vol. xiv. 236 

Fort Stanwix, invested by Colonel St. Leger vol. xiii. 494 

Fort Washington vol. xiii. 99 

chevaux-de-frise sunk near by vol. xiii. 156 

strongly garrisoned vol. xiii. 233 

cannonaded at vol. xiii. 235 

menaced .vol. xiii. 246 

question of evacuating vol. xiii. 247 

summoned to surrender vol. xiii. 263 

amount of garrison vol. xiii. 263 

British attack vol, xiii. 264 

surrendered vol. xiii. 268 

number of prisoners (note) vol. xiii. 271 

Fort Watson taken by Lee and Marion vol. xiv. 548 

Fort William Henry, attacked by Montcalm vol. xii. 254 

captured and destroyed e vol. xii. 255 

Forty Fort, Colonel Zebulon Butler, in command of ,. vol. xiv. 215 

Fox, opinion of George Johnstone vol. xiv. 163 

Fox-hunting in Virginia vol. xii. 65 

Ir?dex 521 

Fot, Captain, secretary to Earl of Dunmore vol. xii. 354 

France, treaty with the United States vol. xiv. 152 

ratified by Congress vol. xiv. 154 

rejoicing in United States vol. xiv. 155 

declares war against England vol. xv. 255 

scarcity in vol. xv. 283 

violates treaty with the United States vol. xv. 345 

indignities toward America vol. xv. 367 

threatened war with vol. xv. 373 

Francis, Colonel vol. xiii. 451 

in St. Clair's retreat vol. xiii. 455 

falls vol. xiii. 455 

Franklin, Benjamin, arrives at Fredericktown vol. xii. 173 

opinion of Braddock and the expedition vol. xii. 173 

departs for Lancaster vol. xii. 174 

sends conveyances to Braddock vol. xii. 183 

observation on Braddock's defeat vol. xii. 209 

in London, as American agent vol. xii. 322 

before the House of Commons vol. xii. 329 

on committee to confer with Washington vol. xii. 534 

on committee to confer with Lord Howe vol. xiii. 197 

acquaintance with Howe vol. xiii. 197 

to Howe, referring to past acquaintance vol. xiii. 198 

and Lord Howe, anecdote vol. xiii. 200 

exertions for aid from France vol. xiv. 611 

Eraser, General, in the invasion, from Canada vol. xiii. 434 

at Three Mile Point vol. xiii. 441 

in Ticonderoga , . . . .vol. xiii. 452 

pursues the Americans vol. xiii. 452 

overtakes and attacks St. Clair's rear-guard vol. xiii. 455 

in the attack on Gates vol. xiv. 24 

commands the advance vol. xiv. 24 

shot down vol. xiv. 26 

dying request vol. xiv. 29 

death vol. xiv. 29 

burial of vol. xiv. 30 

Frazer, General, at Three Rivers vol. xiii. 109 

captures General Thompson vol. xiii. 110 

Frazier, John, an Indian trader vol. xii. 74 

at Turtle Creek vol. xii. 92 

at Venango .vol. xii. 97 

Washington with vol. xii. Ill 

Fraunces, Samuel, steward of the Presidential household vol. xv. 35 

Freemason's Tavern, Washington's headquarters vol. xiii. 356 

French claim the Ohio Valley vol. xii. 67 

prepare for hostilities , vol. xii. 81 

launch an armed vessel on Lake Ontario vol. xii. 81 

influence with the Indians increasing vol. xii. 88 

deserters vol. xii. 93 

522 Ipdex 

Creek vol. xii. 93 

surprised by Washington vol. xii. 128 

relax their vigilance vol. xii. 150 

bravado vol. xii. 166, 191 

attack Braddock's advance-guard vol. xii. 198 

defeat Braddock vol. xii. 202 

force engaged vol. xii. 135, 203 

attack General Johnson's camp vol. xii. 228 

menace Forts Ontario and Oswego vol. xii. 250 

fire their camp and retreat vol. xii. 267 

defeated by regulars and Indians vol. xii. 284 

during the war vol. xii. 318 

fleet, arrival of vol. xiv. 196 

off Sandy Hook vol. xiv. 198 

off Point Judith vol. xiv. 201 

return to Newport vol. xiv. 203 

scattered by a storm vol. xiv. 202 

arrive at Rhode Island vol. xiv. 327 

sail from Newport vol. xiv. 514 

officers, their camp vol. xiv. 533 

reception of Washington vol. xiv. 533 

troops cross to Stony Point vol. xiv. 562 

move toward Virginia vol. xiv. 563 

pass through Philadelphia vol. xiv. 568 

revolution vol. xv. 153 

Freneau, Philip, edits the "National Gazette" vol. xv. 218 

and Hamilton vol. xv. 235 

Frestel, M., arrives with George Washington Lafayette vol. xv. 333 

departs from New York vol. xv. 866 

Frothingham, Richard, Jr., history of the siege of Bos- 
ton (note) vol. xii. 452 

Fry, Colonel, makes a treaty with the Delawares, Shawnees, 

and Mingoes, on behalf of Virginia vol. xii. 87 

Fry, Colonel Joshua vol. xii. 116 

death of vol. xii. 136 


Gabrouski, Count, in the expedition to Fort Montgomery.... vol. xiii. 567 

his death vol. xiii. 544-570 

Gadsden, Colonel, commands Fort Johnson vol. xiii. 147 

Gadsden, Lieutenant-governor, in Charleston vol. xiv. 306 

Gage, General Thomas vol. xii. 195 

crosses the Monongahela with the advance vol. xii. 195 

wounded vol. xii. 199 

to take command of the siege of Fort Niagara vol. xii. 284 

military commander of Massachusetts vol. xii. 367 

history of. vol. xii. 367 

erroneous opinion of Americans vol. xii. 368 

issues a proclamation vol. xii. 368 

Ii)dex • 523 

perplexities vol. xii. 376 

at a loss how to act vol. xii. 876 

on the feeling in Berkshire County vol. xii. 377 

on the General Congress vol. xii. 378 

military measures vol. xii. 385 

orders all munitions of war to Boston vol. xii. 389 

fortifies Boston Neck vol. xii. 389 

to Dartmouth vol. xii. 389 

issues writs for a general election vol. xii. 397 

countermands the writs vol. xii. 397 

enters into explanations with the Assembly ; . . . vol. xii. 398 

critical situation vol. xii. 398 

resolves to destroy the magazine at Concord vol. xii. 406 

astonishment -. vol. xii. 412 

issues a proclamation vol. xii. 431 

astonishment at the fortifications on Breed's Hill ■ . . vol. xii. 439 

determines to carry the works vol. xii. 439 

calls a council of war vol. xii. 439 

in Boston vol. xii. 469 

correspondence with Washington on treatment of prison- 
ers vol. xii. 492 

connection with the burning of Falmouth vol. xii. 534 

sails for England vol. xii. 534 

to Lord Dartmouth vol. xii. 535 

Gall, Brigadier-general, commands redoubts vol. xiv. 24 

Gambler, Admiral, commands the British fleet vol. xiv. 211 

Gamble, Captain vol. xiii. 371 

Gansevoort, Colonel, commands Fort Schuyler vol. xiii. 494 

sends for succor vol. xiii. 502 

Garth, Brigadier-general, expedition against Connecticut — vol. xiv. 241 

Gates, Horatio, before Fort Duquesne vol. xii. 176 

at Mount Vernon vol. xii. 413 

birth vol. xii. 399 

education vol. xii. 399 

serves under Cornwallis vol. xii. 399 

captain of an independent company of New York vol. xii. 400 

in Braddock's campaign vol. xii. 400 

with General Monckton in the West Indies vol. xii. 401 

at the capture of Martinico vol. xii. 401 

dispatched to London vol. xii. 401 

promotion vol. xii. 401 

sells out on half-pay vol. xii. 401 

emigrates to Virginia vol. xii. 401 

purchases an estate vol. xii. 401 

appearance and manners vol. xii. 401 

receives the news of Lexington vol. xii. 418 

appointed adjutant-general vol. xii. 428 

arrival in camp , vol. xii. 479 

services vol. xii. 479 

524 Ir>dex 

Gates, Horatio, estrangement from Washington vol. xii. 479 

sent to Congress with Canadian dispatches .vol. xiii. 86 

promoted vol. xiii. 86 

appointed to the command in Canada , . . voL xiii. 102 

question of command with Schuyler vol. xiii. 135 

arrives at Crown Point voL xiii. 135 

at Ticonderoga vol. xiii. 136 

question of command, settled vol. xiii. 137 

strengthens his works vol. xiii. 260 

in New Jersey with re-enforcements vol. xiii. 298 

joins Washington vol. xiii. 308 

declines to co-operate with Washington vol. xiii. 313 

criticism of Washington vol. xiii. 313 

question of command vol. xiii. 404 

to Mr. Lovell on the command voL xiii. 404 

petulant letter to Washington vol. xiii. 407 

to Mr. Lovell, charging Washington with sectional par- 
tialities vol. xiii. 408 

sets out for Philadelphia vol. xiii. 409 

before Congress vol. xiii. 410 

ordered to withdraw , vol. xiii. 411 

commands at Ticonderoga vol. xiii. 382 

disappointment vol. xiii. 382 

tendered the office of adjutant-general vol. xiii. 385 

rejects the proposal vol. xiii. 385 

committee appointed to confer with him vol. xiii. 386 

to command at Ticonderoga vol. xiii. 387 

arrives af Albany vol. xiii. 387 

on the alert for a command vol. xiii. 469 

urged for command of Northern Department vol. xiii. 471 

appointed by Congress vol. xiii. 471 

to Washington, in high spirits vol. xiii. 519 

conduct of Schuyler. vol. xiii. 519 

correspondence with Burgoyne vol. xiii. 520 

anecdote (note) vol. xiii. 521 

at Bemis' Heights ' vol. xiii. 560 

provokes Arnold . . . . .vol. xiii. 565 

jealousy of Arnold vol. xiii. 567 

quarrel with Arnold , vol. xiii. 567 

bides his time vol. xiv. 24 

begins the battle vol. xiv. 26 

plan of attack .vol. xiv. 26 

sends to recall Arnold vol. xiv. 28 

in Burgoyne's camp vol. xiv. 31 

measures to insure a surrender vol. xiv. 31 

terms of Burgoyne's capitulation .vol. xiv. 40 

number of troops vol. xiv. 41 

humanity and forbearance .vol. xiv. 41 

meeting with Burgoyne vol. xiv. 41 



appearance of his camp vo 

elation at his success vo 

disrespect to Washington vo 

indisposition to re-enforce Washington vo 

president of the Board of War vo 

in the ascendant vo 

the Conway letter vo 

perplexities vo 

to Washington on the Conway letter vo 

projects an invasion of Canada vo 

correspondence with Washington vo 

at Yorktown vo 

on Stark .vo 

to Washington on the Conway correspondence vo 

to Washington concerning Conway vo 

to Wilkinson about the Conway letter vo 

reconciliation with Wilkinson vo 

to resume command of the Northern Department vo 

sent to Danbury vo 

to command the Southern Department vo 

meeting with De Kalb vo 

march to Camden vo 

amount of force under vo 

encounters Cornwallis vo 

council of war vo 

battle of Camden vo 

retreats vo 

proceeds toward Charlotte vo 

makes a stand at Hillsborough vo 

to Washington on his defeat vo 

altered fortunes ..vo 

collects his army at Hillsborough vo 

advances to Charlotte vo 

sympathizing letter from Washington vo 

change of feeling toward Greene vo 

reception by the General Assembly of Virginia vo 

presides over committee of officers vo 

Genet, Edmund Charles, minister to the United States vo 

lands at Charleston vo 

issues commissions for privateers vo 

journey to Philadelphia vo 

described vo 

reception at Philadelphia vo 

presents his letter of credence vo 

diplomatic speech vo 

takes umbrage vo 

dissatisfaction with government vo 

demands the release of two Americans vo 

case of the "Little Sarah" vo 








526 !i)dex 

at New York vol. xv. 278 

grievances of ...vol. xv. 278 

complains of Jefferson vol. xv. 279 

appeal to the people ,...vol. xv. 280 

to Jefferson on enlistments vol. xv. 294 

his recall vol. xv. 294 

Gentlemen Associators voL xii. 239 

George II., anecdote vol. xii. 134 

on Lord Howe voL xiii. 69 

Georgia joins the league vol. xii. 422 

expedition against vol. xiv. 224 

reduced to submission vol. xiv. 224 

Gerard, Monsieur, arrival of vol. xiv. 196 

Germaine, Lord George, plan of invasion vol. xiii. 433 

on the surrender of Cornwallis vol. xiv. 607 

Gennantown, "Washington's camp at voL xiii. 467 

situation of voL xiv. 47 

battle of vol. xiv. 50 

Wayne's attack vol. xiv. 51 

Greene's attack vol. xiv. 53 

panic in the American Army vol. xiv. 54 

loss on both sides vol. xiv. 54 

Washington on vol. xiv. 55 

Captain Heth on , vol. xiv. 55 

Wayne on vol. xiv. 55 

effect of vol. xiv. 56 

English opinion of voL xiv. 56 

effect in France * voL xiv. 56 

effect on the American army voL xiv. 56 

Gerry, Elbridge, anecdote of Warren. . . , . vol. xii. 451 

suggested to accompany General Lee vol. xii. 489 

envoy to France ....vol. xv. 369 

Gibbon, Lieutenant, leads forlorn hope at Stony Point, vol. xiv. 246 

Giles, Mr., moves resolutions concerning Hamilton . , vol. xv. 245 

speech concerning Washington's administration. vol. xv. 273 

Gimat, Lieutenant-colonel, to lead the advance vol. xiv. 596 

Gist, Christopher, dispatched to explore the Ohio ..«.-..... vol. xii. 72 

threatened by traders , vol. xii. 73 

visits the Shawnees on the Scioto. vol. xii. 74 

his reception at Muskingum t voL xii. 73 

arrives at Pi qua. vol. xii. 74 

forms an alliance with two Miami tribes vol. xii. 74 

is deterred from descending to Great Falls voL xii. 75 

returns across Kentucky. vol. xii. 75 

arrives at his home on the banks of the Yadkin. vol. xii. 76 

his home has been desolated by Indians, bnt his family 

are saved vol. xii 76 

rejoins them vol. xii. 76 

proceeds to survey the lands of the Ohio Company. ..... .voL xii. 78 

iQdex 527 

builds 3 fort at Shurtee's Creek vol. xii. 88 

commences a settlement near Laurel Hill vol. xii. 89 

accompanies Washington vol. xii. 92 

at Murdering Town vol. xii. 107 

crosses the Alleghany River vol. xii. 110 

hands and feet frozen vol. xii. 110 

joins Washington vol. xii. 127 

sets off as scout vol. xii. 192 

his report vol. xii. 192 

to Washington vol. xii. 227 

to co-operate with Rodney vol. xiii. 525 

skirmishes vol. xiv. 91 

Gloucester Point fortified vol. xiv. 555 

Glover, General, with Massachusetts regiment vol. xiii. 183 

harasses the British vol. xiii. 232 

crosses the Delaware vol. xiii. 317 

to re-enforce Schuyler vol. xiii. 463 

to move to Red Bank vol. xiv. 81 

Gooch, Captain, takes a message to Magaw vol. xiii. 268 

Gouvion, Colonel, reconnoiters the British posts vol. xiv. 418 

Grafton, Duke of, resigns vol. xii. 316 

Graham, Sergeant, employed by Governor Tryon vol. xiii. 108 

Granby captured by Lee vol. xiv. 549 

Grant, General, on Long Island vol. xiii. 167 

drives in the picket vol. xiii. 174 

pushes Stirling vol. xiii. 178 

warns Rahl of the attack . vol. xiii. 318 

commands expedition against St. Lucia vol. xiv. 223 

commands the right wing vol. xiv. 49 

GRANT, Major, foolhardiness , vol. xii. 278 

defeated vol. xii. 278 

misrepresentations of America vol. xii. 404 

his braggart speech vol. xii. 404 

Graves, Admiral, connection with the burning of Falmouth.. vol. xii. 531 

arrives at New York vol. xiv. 332 

off the capes of Virginia vol. xiv. 574 

action with De Grasse vol. xiv. 574 

bears away for New York vol. xiv. 575 

Gray's Elegy, anecdote of Wolfe vol. xii. 292 

Graydon, Alexander, at New York vol. xiii. 141 

characterizes Miffin vol. xiii. 141 

appearance of Maryland troops vol. xiii. 141 

Pennsylvania troops vol. xiii. 142 

Connecticut light horse vol. xiii. 143 

at the American camp vol. xiii. 430 

account of Wayne vol. xiii. 431 

shabby clothing of the troops vol. xiii. 432 

Grayson, Colonel, reconnoitering vol. xiii. 183 

to Lee on crossing the Hudson vol. xiii. 273 

528 Ii)dex 

Great Britain, aggressive measures toward the United States, .vol. xv. 295 

excitement on account of vol. xv. 295 

treaty with, ratified vol. xv. 326, 338 

Great Meadows vol. xii. 127, 138 

affair of the. .vol. xii. 139, 142 

Great Tree, at the seat of government vol. xv. 196 

Greene, Colonel Christopher, commands Fort Mercer. vol. xiy. 58 

repulses Count Donop vol. xiv. 58 

receives thanks of Congress vol. xiv. 61 

surprised by Delancey vol. xiv. 526 

death and history of vol. xiv. 526 

Greene, Nathaniel, appointed brigadier-general vol. xii. 428 

commanding Rhode Island troops vol. xii. 471 

birth and parentage „. vol. xii. 471 

early education vol. xii. 471 

military taste , vol. xii. 471 

addresses Washington vol. xii. 472 

appearance and manner vol. xii. 472 

under Major-general Lee vol. xii. 482 

on the destruction of Falmouth vol. xii. 534 

respect for Franklin vol. xii. 536 

veneration for Washington vol. xii. 542 

sympathizes with Washington vol. xii. 585 

to Henry Ward on the disposition to disband vol. xii. 586 

cheerfulness vol. xii. 586 

stationed on Long Island vol. xiii. 76 

pushes the works vol. xiii. 100 

meets Alexander Hamilton vol. xiii. 114 

becomes acquainted vol. xiii. 114 

at Brooklyn... vol. xiii. 165 

illness vol. xiii. 165 

a soldier's yearnings for home vol. xiii. 194 

relative to abandoning New York vol. xiii. 201 

on the retreat from New York (note) vol. xiii. 206 

to Washington offering aid , vol. xiii. 228 

promoted vol. xiii. 218 

attack on the British frigates vol. xiii. 236 

precautions against the enemy vol. xiii. 247 

to Washington against abandoning Fort Washington.... vol. xiii. 248 

re-enforces Fort Washington vol. xiii. 250 

re-enforces Magaw vol. xiii. 263 

on the movements of Lee .vol. xiii. 293 

ardor for the attack on Trenton vol. xiii. 314 

harasses the enemy's advance vol. xiii. 333 

at Morristown vol. xiii. 356 

dispatched to Philadelphia vol. xiii. 378 

to repair to Red Bank vol. xiv. 79 

inspects the Highland forts , vol. xiii. 413 

advances to the relief vol. xiii. 537 

Ipdex 529 

Greene, Nathaniel, desperate conflict vol. xiii. 537 

at the battle of Germantown vol. xiv. 52 

on exploit of Lafayette vol. xiv. 84 

appointed quartermaster-general vol. xiv. 145 

detached to flank the enemy vol. xiv. 177 

repulses the enemy vol. xiv. 181 

detached to the expedition against Rhode Island vol. xiv. 199 

on board of the French fleet vol. xiv. 199 

interview with D'Estaing vol. xiv. 203 

in command at Short Hills ;..;*.. vol. xiv. 322 

fight at Springfield , vol. xiv. 323 

difficulty with Congress vol. xiv. 335 

resignation accepted vol. xiv. 335 

presides over board of general officers vol. xiv. 390 

meets the British commissioners vol. xiv. 395 

ordered to West Point vol. xiv. 409 

appointed to command the Southern army vol. xiv. 413 

arrives at Charlotte vol. xiv. 440 

delicacy to Gates vol. xiv. 441 

to Washington on Gates vol. xiv. 441 

number of troops vol. xiv. 442 

military aphorisms vol. xiv. 442 

state of the country vol. xiv. 442 

reorganizes the army vol. xiv. 444 

at Cheraw Hills vol. xiv. 445 

to Washington on the state of the army vol. xiv. 446 

to Washington on the battle of the Cowpens vol. xiv. 480 

hastens to Morgan's camp vol. xiv. 480 

to Huger on Cornwallis's movements vol. xiv. 481 

his Fabian policy vol. xiv. 481 

disposition of his troops vol. xiv. 482 

Mrs. Steele, anecdote « vol. xiv. 486 

at Guilford Court-house vol. xiv. 487 

summons a council of war vol. xiv. 487 

amount of fdrce vol. xiv. 487 

pushes for the Dan vol. xiv. 488 

masterly retreat vol. xiv. 489 

crosses the Dan vol. xiv. 489 

to Jefferson on his retreat vol. xiv. 490 

to Washington on the same vol. xiv. 490 

recrosses the Dan vol. xiv. 493 

at Troublesome Creek vol. xiv. 496 

re-enforced vol. xiv. 496 

number of troops vol. xiv. 498 

at Guilford vol. xiv. 498 

disposition of troops vol. xiv. 499 

battle of Guilford Court-house vol. xiv. 500 

orders a retreat vol. xiv. 502 

to Washington on Cornwallis vol. xiv. 502 

Vol. XV.— ***23 

530 Ii>dex 

pursues Cornwallis vol. xiv. 508 

at Deep River vol. xiv. 506 

reduction of force vol. xiv. 507 

change of plans to Washington vol. xiv. 507 

to Lafayette on Cornwallis vol. xiv. 508 

discharges his militia vol. xiv. 508 

sets out for Camden vol. xiv. 508 

atHobkirk's Hill vol. xiv. 548 

retreats before Lord Rawdon , vol. xiv. 548 

on the Wateree vol. xiv. 549 

gloomy prospects , vol. xiv. 549 

before the fortress of Ninety-Six vol. xiv. 550 

retreats across the Saluda vol. xiv. 550 

to Washington on cavalry vol. xiv. 551 

pursued by Rawdon vol. xiv. 551 

on the Wateree .vol. xiv. 551 

to Sumter urging active measures vol. xiv. 552 

from Washington concerning re-enforcements vol. xiv. 557 

on the hills of Santee vol. xiv. 584 

marches against Colonel Stuart vol. xiv. 584 

battle of Eutaw Springs vol. xiv. 585 

resumes his position vol. xiv. 591 

follows Stuart vol. xiv. 591 

to Washington on the battle of Eutaw Springs vol. xiv. 591 

Washington in the dance vol. xv. 78 

death of vol. xv. 84 

Green Mountain Boys vol. xii. 255 

fresh corps to be raised vol. xii. 499 

elect Warner lieutenant-colonel vol. xii. 505 

arrival at camp vol. xii. 519 

Greenway Court vol. xii. 63 

menaced by Indians vol. xii. 232 

Gregg, Colonel, in quest of Indians vol. xii. 232 

Grenville, George, advises American taxation vol. xii. 320 

dismissed from the Cabinet vol. xii. 328 

explanation of British measures .vol. xv. 297 

Grey, Major-general Sir Charles, sent to surprise Wayne vol. xiii. 542 

presses the American troops vol. xiv. 53 

on a ravaging expedition vol. xiv. 210 

surprises Baylor's dragoons vol. xiv. 210 

raised to the peerage vol. xiv. 222 

Gridley, Captain Samuel, commands artillery vol. xii. 436 

Gridley, Colonel, commanding artillery vol. xii. 432 

reconno iters Charlestown Neck vol. xii. 434 

accompanies detachment for Bunker's Hill vol. xii. 437 

plans fortifications vol. xii. 437 

superintends fortification of Dorchester Heights vol. xiii. 55 

Griffin, Colonel, co-operates with Washington vol. xiii. 315 

decoys Donop vol. xiii. 330 

Ipdex 531 

Griffith, Colonel, joins Washington at New York vol. xiii. 195 

Guilford Court-house, battle of vol. xiv. 500 

after the battle vol. xiv. 501 

loss on both sides vol. xiv. 502 


Hackensack, American army at vol. xiii. 273 

Haff, James, confession vol. xiii. 112 

Hale, Colonel, gives way vol. xiii. 456 

death vol. xiii. 456 

Hale, Nathan, sketch of (note) vol. xiv. 387 

Half Town, at the seat of government. ... , .vol. xv. 196 

Halifax intrenched by Kosciuszko vol. xiii. 573 

Halket, Sir Peter vol. xii. 184 

Hall, Colonel, at McGowan's Ford vol. xiv. 418 

Hamilton, Brigadier-general, in the invasion from Canada... vol. xiii. 443 

Hamilton, Governor , vol. xii. 71 

command of Burgoyne's camp vol. xiv. 25 

Hamilton, Alexander, commands a provincial company vol. xiii. 114 

birth and early days vol. xiii. 116 

education , vol. xiii. 116 

addresses a public meeting vol. xiii. 117 

captain of artillery vol. xiii. 117 

acquaintance with General Greene vol. xiii. 118 

brings up the rear in the retreat vol. xiii. 186 

interview with "Washington vol. xiii. 209 

at the Raritan vol. xiii. 288 

on the situation of Cornwallis vol. xiii. 352 

rapid rise vol. xiii. 432 

dispatched to Congress vol. xiii. 481 

mission to Gates vol. xiv. 65, 74 

concludes his mission vol. xiv. 75 

and Putnam's hobby-horse vol. xiv. 75 

emphatical letter to Putnam vol. xiv. 76 

on the reluctance of the troops vol. xiv. 76 

reasons against the abduction of Sir Henry Clinton vol. xiv. 147 

on the decision of council of war vol. xiv. 172 

boards the French fleet vol. xiv. 198 

to Washington on the enemy. vol. xiv. 300 

breakfasts with Arnold vol. xiv. 376 

learns of Arnold's treason vol. xiv. 378 

sent in pursuit of Arnold vol. xiv. 379 

return to Washington with letters vol. xiv. 381 

describes interview between Washington and Mrs. 

Arnold vol. xiv. 383 

account of Andre's conduct vol. xiv. 385 

at dinner with Chastellux vol. xiv. 420 

eulogium of Washington vol. xiv. 464 

misunderstanding with Washington vol. xiv. 465 

532 [pdex 

dislike of the office of aid-de-camp vol. xiv. 467 

ambitious for distinction vol. xiv. 467 

reconciliation with Washington vol. xiv. 469 

leads the advance on the redoubts vol. xiv. 596 

enters the redoubts vol. xiv. 596 

at Washington's inauguration vol. xv. 116 

and the new constitution ,.vol. xv. 134 

on presidential etiquette -. vol. xv. 130 

on the French Revolution vol. xv. 154 

report on the national debt vol. xv. 168 

plan for its liquidation vol. xv. 170 

opposition to vol. xv. 170 

monarchial views vol. xv. 174 

conversation with Jefferson vol. xv. 176 

urges a national bank vol. xv. 193 

on the British Constitution vol. xv. 193 

on monarchy and stock gambling vol. xv. 230 

urges Washington to serve another term vol. xv. 333 

attack on Jefferson vol. xv. 236 

to Washington on dissension with Jefferson vol. xv. 238 

on the French Revolution vol. xv. 259 

concerning French prizes vol. xv. 265 

case of the "Little Sarah" vol. xv. 272 

intention to resign vol. xv. 275 

on war with Great Britain vol. xv. 298 

recommends Jay vol. xv. 299 

plan for the redemption of the public debt vol. xv. 313 

sends in his resignation vol. xv. 314 

to Washington on his resignation vol. xv. 314 

on Rufus King vol. xv. 341 

to Washington, his farewell address vol. xv. 350 

to Washington on threatened war with France vol. xv. 374 

to Washington on his appointment as commander-in- 
chief , vol. xv. 376 

second in command vol. xv. 377 

Hammond, Mr., British minister, and Genet vol. xv. 257 

Hampton, Colonel vol. xiii. 540 

Hampton, Colonel Henry, to watch Orangeburg vol. xiv. 551 

Hampton, Colonel Wade, at Dorchester. vol. xiv. 551 

before Charleston vol. xiv. 552 

at Eutaw Springs vol. xiv. 588 

rallies the cavalry vol. xiv. 588 

Hamtranck, Major, sent after deserters vol. xv. 208 

Hancock, John, president of the Provincial Congress vol. xii. 396 

apprised of the movements of troops vol. xii. 405 

president of Congress vol. xii. 422 

ambition to be commander-in-chief vol. xii. 424 

mortification vol. xii. 426 

excepted from proffered pardon vol. xii. 431 

Mex 533 

invites Washington to be his guest vol. xiii. 87 

ordering Gates to the command of the Northern Depart- 
ment vol. xiii. 385 

invitation to Washington vol. xv. 157 

observance of etiquette vol. xv. 157 

reception of Washington, point of etiquette vol. xv. 158 

waives the point vol. xv. 160 

visit to Washington vol. xv. 160 

Hand, Colonel, retreats before the enemy at Gravesend vol. xiii. 167 

prepared for defense vol. xiii. 168 

watches the central road vol. xiii. 168 

holds the bridge at Throg's Neck vol. xiii. 227 

intercepts the Hessians vol. xiii. 346 

society of the Cincinnati vol. xv. 36 

Hanging Rock successfully attacked by Sumter vol. xiv. 341 

Harcourt, Colonel, joins Howe vol. xiii. 235 

captures General Lee vol. xiii. 303 

Hardin, Colonel, scouring the country vol. xiv. 584 

decoyed into an ambush vol. xv. 189 

battle with Indians vol. xv. 189 

Harmer, Brigadier-general, leads an expedition against the 

Indians vol. xv. 189 

destroys Miami village . , vol. xv. 189 

expedition reported to Congress vol. xv. 191 

Harnage, Major vol. xiii. 556 

Harrison, Benjamin, delegated to the General Congress vol. xii. 373 

on committee to confer with Washington vol. xii. 535 

on the bombardment of Boston vol. xii. 536 

member of the board of war and ordnance vol. xiii. 89 

Harrison, Colonel Robert H., secretary to Washington vol. xiii. 356 

referee for exchange of prisoners vol. xiii. 365 

to Congress predicting the enemy's repulse vol. xiii. 532 

appointment of vol. xv. 145 

Hartshorn, Ensign, decoyed into an ambush vol. xv. 189 

Haslet, Colonel John, joins Lord Stirling's brigade vol. xv. 171 

statement of vol. xv. 177 

attempt to take Rogers the renegade vol. xv. 233 

publicly thanked vol. xv. 233 

detached to Chatterton's Hill vol. xv. 237 

killed at Princeton vol. xv. 345 

Haviland, Colonel, crosses Lake Champlain vol. xii. 299 

Hat, Colonel, to Washington, on the protection of the High- 
lands vol. xiii. 134 

Hazard, postmaster, to Gates concerning Lee vol. xiii. 255 

on the Hessians (note) vol. xiii. 354 

Hazel wood, Commodore, in the Delaware vol. xiv. 58 

receives thanks of Congress vol. xiv. 62 

Heath, General, takes command of the Minute Men vol. xii. 410 

brings them to a halt vol. xii. 411 

534 Ir?dex 

appointed Brigadier-general vol. xii. 428 

to fortify Lechmere Point vol. xii. 566 

dispatched to New Nork vol. xiii. 73 

on the discipline of Mifflin's troops vol. xiii. 164 

preparations to receive the enemy vol. xiii. 165 

retreat from Long Island vol. xiii. 186 

to keep guard on New York Island vol. xiii. 202 

landing of the British at Throg's Neck vol. xiii. 226 

skillful distribution of his troops vol. xiii. 226 

appearance of the enemy at White Plains vol. xiii. 239 

the two armies at White Plains vol. xiii. 241 

American defenses vol. xiii. 241 

to secure the Highlands vol. xiii. 242 

in command at the Highlands vol. xiii. 250 

described vol. xiii. 253 

refuses to obey Lee , vol. xiii. 280 

to Washington for instructions vol. xiii. 281 

refuses to order troops for Lee vol. xiii. 291 

military punctilio vol. xiii. 291 

on the conduct of Lee vol. xiii. 292 

to march into the Jerseys vol. xiii. 350 

advances toward New York vol. xiii. 350 

pompous summons to Fort Independence vol. xiii. 352 

rebuked by Washington vol. xiii. 352 

stationed in the Highlands vol. xiv, 261 

charmed with the French officers vol. xiv. 330 

commands West Point vol. xiv. 560 

Henderson, Lieutenant-colonel, joins Greene vol. xiv. 585 

at Eutaw Springs vol. xiv. 585 

severely wounded vol. xiv. 587 

Hendrick, Mohawk warrior, slain vol. xii. 230 

Henfield, Gideon, case of vol. xv. 272 

Henry, Patrick, introduces his resolutions vol. xii. 322 

speech on his resolutions vol. xii. 322 

anecdote vol. xii. 322 

delegate to the General Congress vol. xii. 373 

sets out for Philadelphia vol. xii. 377 

sectional distinctions vol. xii. 377 

speech at the opening of the General Congress vol. xii. 381 

opinion of Washington vol. xii. 385 

speech before the convention at Richmond vol. xii. 403 

letter to, against Washington vol. xiv. 106 

declines appointment vol. xv. 388 

Herkimer, General, commands in Try on County vol. xiii. 442 

at Oriskany vol. xiii. 496 

dispute with his officers vol. xiii. 496 

attacked by the enemy vol. xiii. 497 

wounded vol. xiii. 498 

death vol. xiii. 499 

Ir>dex 536 

Herrick, Colonel, at Bennington vol. xiii. 511 

Hertburn, William de, progenitor of the Washingtons vol. xii. 27 

Hessians, hired by England vol. xiii. 78 

in Canada vol. xiii. 78 

arrive in America vol. xiii. 155 

sanguinary fury vol. xiii. 177 

re-enforce Howe vol. xiii. 234 

American opinion of vol. xiii. 310 

stationed at Trenton vol. xiii. 310 

captured by Washington vol. xiii. 323 

treatment vol. xiii. 329 

plunder both sides vol. xiii. 354 

described by Hazard (note) vol. xiii. 354 

tactics ■ vol. xiii. 511 

Heth, Captain, on the battle of German town vol. xiv. 54 

to Colonel Lamb, on the same vol. xiv. 54 

Hickey, Thomas, Washington's body guard vol. xiii. 108 

convicted and hanged vol. xiii. 108 

Highlands, state of defenses vol. xiii. 562 

Hill, Lieutenant-colonel, attacks Colonel Long vol. xiii. 455 

Hinmak, Colonel, to re-enforce Ticonderoga vol. xii. 497 

arrives at Ticonderoga vol. xii. 498 

difficulties with Arnold vol. xii. 499 

in command of Ticonderoga vol. xii. 502 

Hitchcock, Colonel, re-enforces Cadwalader vol. xiii. 307 

Hobkirk's Hill, affair at vol. xv. 358 

Holbourne, Admiral, demonstration against Louisburg vol. xii. 255 

Holmes, Rear-admiral vol. xii. 290, 291 

Hood, Commodore, on the troubles in Boston vol. xii. 332 

to Grenville on the sedition vol. xii. 341 

Hotham, Commodore, convoys expedition against St. Lucia.. vol. xiv. 223 

Hotjdon's bust of Washington (appendix) vol. xv. 412 

takes a model of Washington vol. xv. 72 

House of Representatives, on the public credit. vol. xv. 143 

opposition to Washington vol. xv. 335 

make provision for the treaty vol. xv. 338 

reply to Washington's last address vol. xv. 351 

Howard, Colonel, under Morgan vol. xiv. 445 

Howard, Major, retreating vol. xiv. 179 

at the battle of the Cowpens vol. xiv. 476 

Howe, Lord, in the expedition against Ticonderoga vol. xii. 266 

dies while leading the van vol. xii. 266 

Howe, Admiral Lord, fondness for business vol. xiii. 69 

character and services vol. xiii. 69 

arrives at New York vol. xiii. 125 

proclamation of vol. xiii. 126 

comes as a mediator vol. xiii. 127 

sends flag of truce vol. xiii. 127 

sends Gen. Sullivan on parole to Congress with overtures, vol. xiii. 196 

536 Irjdex 

plan of compromise . .vol. xiii. 196 

to Franklin on reunion of Great Britain and America. . .vol. xiii. 198 

conference with commissioners vol. xiii. 199 

and Franklin, anecdote vol. xiii. 199 

conflagration in New York vol. xiii. 213 

issues proclamation vol. xiii. 289 

to Washington on the treatment of prisoners vol. xiii. 371 

gets his fleet into the Delaware vol. xiv. 46 

at Sandy Hook vol. xiv. 186 

brings his fleet to the relief of R. I vol. xiv. 201 

maneuvers of the fleets vol. xiv. 202 

bears away to New York. vol. xiv. 202 

return to England vol. xiv. 211 

Howe, General Robert, at Savannah vol. xiv. 224 

defeated by the British „ .vol. xiv. 224 

Howe, Major-general, quells mutiny .vol. xiv. 460 

dispatched to quell a mutiny vol. xv. 42 

Howe, Sir William, in the expedition against Quebec vol. xii. 286 

ascends the Heights of Abraham vol. xii. 293 

arrives at Boston vol. xii. 430 

lands with troops at Moulton's Point vol. xii. 438 

reconnoiters the American works vol. xii. 441 

sends for re-enforcements vol. xii. 441 

prepares for the assault vol. xii. 365 

advances against the fence vol. xii. 365 

troops thrown into confusion vol. xii. 366 

makes a feint of attacking the fence vol. xii. 448 

wounded vol. xii. 448 

description of vol. xii. 466 

reproached by Congress vol. xii. 467 

intrenched vol. xii. 468 

measures taken vol. xii. 538 

issues proclamation vol. xii. 538 

to Washington concerning Ethan Allen vol. xii. 563 

measures to repress excesses vol. xiii. 48 

perplexed vol. xiii. 59 

declines attacking Dorchester Heights vol. xiii. 59 

retreat from Boston vol. xiii. 65 

steers for Halifax vol. xiii. 67 

indolent disposition vol. xiii. 68 

arrives at New York vol. xiii. 113 

to his government on the state of affairs vol. xiii. 113 

plans for the battle of Long Island vol. xiii. 172 

accompanies division from Flatlands vol. xiii. 123 

at Throg's Neck vol. xiii. 233 

lands on Pell's Point vol. xiii. 233 

at New Rochelle vol. xiii. 234 

postpones the assault vol. xiii. 242 

plan of attack on Fort Washington vol. xiii. 262 

Ipdex 537 

the attack , vol. xiii. 263 

conduct of the seamen .vol. xiii. 273 

hears of the capture of the Hessians vol. xiii. 336 

on the march vol. xiii. 339 

contrasted with Washington vol. xiii. 361 

to Washington concerning Lee vol. xiii. 365 

to Lord Germaine, relative to Lee vol. xiii. 365 

prepares to attack Peekskill vol. xiii. 379 

crosses to the Jerseys *. vol. xiii. 420 

sallies from Brunswick vol. xiii. 420 

endeavors to draw Washington out vol. xiii. 423 

another attempt vol. xiii. 425 

evacuates the Jerseys vol. xiii. 426 

leaves New York vol. xiii. 465 

enters the Delaware , vol. xiii. 467 

sails out of the capes vol. xiii. 467 

lands from the fleet vol. xiii. 523 

issues proclamation vol. xiii. 525 

at Elkton vol. xiii. 528 

battle of Brandywine vol. xiii. 531 

neglects to pursue his advantage vol. xiii. 539 

pushes for Philadelphia vol. xiii. 543 

halts at Germantown vol. xiii. 545 

detaches a force against Billingsport vol. xiv. 47 

headquarters vol. xiv. 48 

constructing redoubts on Province Island vol. xiv. 71 

attacks Fort Mifflin vol. xiv. 71 

expedition against Fort Mercer vol. xiv. 81 

preparing to drive Washington beyond the mountains... vol. xiv. 89 

meditates attack on the American camp vol. xiv. 89 

maneuvers vol. xiv. 90 

retires to Philadelphia , vol. xiv. 92 

excesses of foraging parties vol. xiv. 147 

resignation accepted vol. xiv. 155 

the Mischianza vol. xiv. 155 

Hubbard, Colonel, at Bennington vol. xiii. 542 

Huddy, Captain Joseph, murdered in revenge for Philip 

White vol. xiv. 614 

Hudson River, defenses of vol. xiii. 42 

strategical position vol. xiii. 122 

defenses vol. xiii. 208 

British ships move up vol. xiii. 219 

new obstructions vol. xiii. 219 

opened for the British vol. xiii. 571 

Huger, Brigadier-general, at Monk's Corner vol. xiv. 306 

surprised by Tarleton vol. xiv. 306 

in command on the Pedee vol. xiv. 481 

at Guilford Court-house vol. xiv. 485, 499 

Hughes, Colonel, ordered to impress water-craft. , vol. xiii. 184 

538 Iqdex 

Humphreys, Colonel, on preparation for attacking the British 

posts voL xiv. 419 

accompanies Washington to Mount Vernon vol. xiv. 573 

to Washington on the troubles in Massachusetts vol. xv. 93 

meets Washington vol. xv. 98 

inauguration of Washington vol. xv. 114 

Humphreys, Colonel, Washington's first levee, anecdote vol. xv. 131 

Huntingdon, Colonel, hangs on the enemy's rear voL xiii. 399 

Huntington, General, to join Varnum vol. xiv. 81 

on the destitution of the troops .vol. xiv. 95 

society of the Cincinnati vol. xiv. 174 

Huntington, Major vol. xiii. 291 


Indian council at Logstown vol. xii. 90, 93 

Indian traders, described vol. xii. 68 

Indian war dance vol. xii. 60 

Indian warfare . vol. xiv. 213 

Indians, leave Braddock vol. xii. 182 

outrages of vol. xii. 231 

troubles with vol. xii. 346 

visit Washington at Cambridge vol. xii. 509 

with Burgoyne vol. xiii. 486 

murder Miss McCrea vol. xiii. 488 

desert Burgoyne vol. xiii. 490 

described by a Hessian vol. xiii. 507 

oblige St. Leger to decamp vol. xiii. 516 

difficulties with vol. xv. 188 

hostilities west of the Ohio vol. xv. 311 

treaty with Wayne , vol. xv. 334 

Innes, Colonel, at Winchester vol. xii. 136 

concerning the Indians vol. xii. 182 

Iroquois, stand aloof vol. xii. 268 

Iredell, James, judge of supreme court vol. xv. 145 

Irvine, Colonel, taken prisoner vol. xiii. 106 

Irvine, James, Brigadier-general, taken prisoner vol. xiv. 90 


JACK, Captain, commands hunters vol. xii. 171 

at Little Meadows vol. xii. 186 

departs with his band vol. xii. 187 

Jackson, Andrew vol. xv. 353 

Jackson, Major, accompanies Washington vol. xv. 156 

Washington's reception at Boston vol. xv. 156 

Jacobin Club vol. xv. 165 

Jacobs, Captain, Indian sachem vol. xii. 240 

killed vol. xii. 240 

Jameson, Lieutenant-colonel, sends papers found on Andre, 

to Washington vol. xiv. 372 

informs Arnold of the capture of Andre ... - vol. xiv. 378 

fr>dex 539 

JAY, John, drafts address to the people of Great Britain vol. xii. 384 

and the conspiracy in New York vol. xiii. 107 

to Rutledge vol. xili. 227 

to Gouvernenr Morris, on the defense of New York vol. xiii. 227 

to Rutledge, concerning Lee vol. xiii. 229 

on the opposition to Washington (note) vol. xiv. 130 

approves of Arnold's plan of settlement in New York. .. .vol. xiv. 266 

correspondence with Washington vol. xv. 89 

at the head of affairs. . . . , vol. xv. 124 

appointed Chief-justice vol. xv. 144 

on republicanism vol. xv. 174 

concerning Genet vol. xv. 282 

envoy to Great Britain vol. xv. 299 

progress of negotiations vol. xv. 316 

his treaty with Great Britain vol. xv. 316 

return to America vol. xv. 317 

elected Governor of New York vol. xv. 317 

Jefferson, Thomas, Arnold's invasion vol. xiv. 461 

correspondence with Washington vol. xiv. 463 

escapes to Carter's Mountain vol. xiv. 540 

on Knox and Humphreys vol. xv. 132 

anecdotes related by vol. xv. 132 

sketch of character and opinions vol. xv. 146 

in Paris ... .vol. xv. 147 

opinions on the new Constitution vol. xv. 148 

re-eligibility of the President. vol. xv. 149 

horror of kingly rule vol. xv. 149 

on titles vol. xv. 149 

Washington's election to the presidency vol. xv. 149 

on French politics vol. xv. 150 

and the leading patriots vol. xv. 150 

to Paine on the National Assembly vol. xv. 152 

on the French Revolution vol. xv. 152 

appointed Secretary of State vol. xv. 165 

arrives at New York vol. xv. 173 

impressions concerning the political tone of society vol. xv. 174 

conversation with Hamilton vol. xv. 178 

remonstrates with Washington on ceremonials vol. xv. 258 

discords in Congress vol. xv. 182 

concerning Hamilton vol. xv. 182 

accompanies Washington to Rhode Island vol. xv. 193 

opposed to a National Bank vol. xv. 193 

rivalry with Hamilton vol. xv. 194 

spmpathy with the French Revolution vol. xv. 203 

hatred of royalty vol. xv. 205 

intention of retirement vol. xv. 218 

concerning Hamilton vol. xv. 220 

appreciation of Hamilton vol. xv. 220 

conversation between Hamilton and Adams vol. xv. 221 

540 Ii}dex 

urging Washington not to retire vol. xv. 226 

to Lafayette, suspicions ..vol. xv. 228 

conversation with Washington on political matters vol. xv. 230 

to Washington on dissensions with Hamilton vol. xv. 240 

concerning Gouverneur Morris vol. xv. 248 

on the atrocities of the French Revolution vol. xv. 250 

to Madison on the war between England and France vol. xv. 258 

to Madison on Genet's speech vol. xv. 261 

conversation with Washington on attacks of the press vol. xv. 262 

on Freneau's paper vol. xv. 262 

concerning French prizes » ..vol. xv. 265 

interview with Genet vol. xv. 267 

relative to Washington's illness vol. xv. 265 

case of the "Little Sarah" vol. xv. 267 

concerning recall of Genet vol. xv. 274 

intention to resign vol. xv. 275 

interview with Washington vol. xv. 275 

to Genet, announcing application for his recall vol. xv. 279 

report on the state of trade vol. xv. 288 

rebuke to Genet vol. xv. 289 

retirement from office vol. xv. 289 

at Monticello -. vol. xv. 290 

character of Washington vol. xv. 291 

on war with Great Britain vol. xv. 298 

to Tench Coxe, from Monticello vol. xv. 300 

to Monroe on Washington's influence vol. xv. 342 

on breach of official trust vol. xv. 343 

elected Vice-President vol. xv. 355 

takes the oath of office vol. xv. 356 

Jeskakake, Shannoah, sachem vol. xii. 96 

Johnson family, power in New York vol. xii. 458 

style of living vol. xii. 459 

adherents vol. xii. 459 

incite the Indians to hostility vol. xii. 459 

Johnson, Colonel Guy, supports the royal cause. vol. xii. 460 

fortifies Guy's Park vol. xii. 460 

holds an Indian council vol. xii. 461 

doubtful intentions vol. xii. 461 

at Montreal vol. xii. 502 

contemplates hostilities , vol. xiii. 95 

Johnson, Sir John, supports the royal cause , vol. xii. 459 

fortifies the family hall vol. xii. 459 

fortifies Johnson Hall vol. xiii. 37 

prepares for hostilities vol. xiii. 37 

surrenders to General Schuyler vol. xiii. 38 

contemplates hostilities vol. xiii. 95 

retreats among the Indians vol. xiii. 95 

rumored to be in the field vol. xiii. 96 

contemplated inroad of vol. xiii. 425 

Ipdex 541 

on hie way to attack Fort Schuyler vol. xiii. 424 

depredations vol. xiv. 414 

Johnson, Sir William vol. xii. 168 

expedition against Crown Point vol. xii. 226 

defeats the French vol. xii. 229 

erects Fort William Henry vol. xii. 229 

made baronet and superintendent of Indian affaire vol. xii. 230 

joins Abercrombie vol. xii. 267 

to attack Fort Niagara vol. xii. 284 

conducts the siege vol. xii. 285 

captures the fort vol. xii. 285 

before Montreal vol. xii. 299 

influence with the Six Nations vol. xii. 315 

concern at the difficulties vol. xii. 459 

death vol. xii. 459 

Johnson, of Maryland, nominates Washington commander- 
in-chief vol. xii. 426 

Johnstone, George, commissioner from Great Britain vol. xiv. 162 

Fox's opinion of vol. xiv. 162 

on the state of Philadelphia vol. xiv. 163 

attempt to bribe General Reed vol. xiv. 165 

to Robert Morris, attempts at corruption vol. xiv. 165 

Joncaire, Captain vol. xii. 79 

his history vol. xii. 80 

appears at Logstown vol. xii. 80 

addresses the chiefs vol. xii. 80 

writes to the Governor of Pennsylvania vol. xii. 80 

interview with Washington vol. xii. 95 

entertains Washington at supper vol. xii. 97 

his diplomacy with the Indians vol. xii. 98 

Jones, David, Lieutenant, and Mies McCrea vol. xiii. 486 

Jones, Honorable Joseph, letter on army grievances vol. xv. 27 

Jumonville, his death vol. xii. 129 

instructions found upon him vol. xii. 129 

Junius, description of Lord Botetourt vol. xii. 337 


Kane, Major, letter to, intercepted vol. xii. 529 

Kelly, Major, destroys bridge at Stony Brook vol. xiii. 348 

Kentucky admitted into the Union vol. xv. 197 

Keppel, Commodore, arrives with his equadron vol. xii. 162 

furniehes cannon vol. xii. 162 

Kiashuta, a Seneca sachem vol. xii. 351 

King, Rufus, concerning Genet vol. xv. 282 

character of vol. xv. 341 

minister to Great Britain vol. xv. 342 

King's Bridge to be fortified vol. xiii. 44 

reconnoitered by Washington vol. xiii. 98 

works at vol. xiii. 98 

542 Mex 

fortified camp at vol. xiii. 208 

relinquished by the British vol. xv. 47 

King's County committee, accusing Schuyler vol. xiii. 84 

disaffected to „ vol. xiii. 378 

King's Mountain, situation vol. xiv. 432 

battle of vol. xiv. 432 

its effect vol. xiv. 434 

Kingston burned by the British vol. xiii. 574 

Kingston, Lieutenant, bears a note to Gates vol. xiv. 39 

Kinlock, Captain, takes summons to Colonel Buford vol. xiv. 312 

Kip's Bay, landing of British vol. xiii. 205 

anecdote of Washington vol. xiii. 205 

Kirkwood at Eutaw Springs vol. xiv. 588 

Kitchel, Anna (note) vol. xiv. 266 

Kittanning, taken and burned vol. xii. 240 

Knowlton, Captain, joins Putnam vol. xii. 415 

leads a fatigue party vol. xii. 436 

puts up a rampart ' vol. xii. 444 

repulses General Howe vol. xii. 446 

maintains his position vol. xii. 449 

promoted to major vol. xii. 482 

captures a British guard vol. xiii. 47 

to attack Staten Island vol. xiii. 154 

gallant affair at an outpost vol. xiii. 210 

wounded vol. xiii. 211 

death vol. xiii. 212 

Knox, Henry, offers to obtain artillery and ordnance stores., .vol. xii. 539 

account of vol. xii. 540 

instruction vol. xii. 540 

sets off on his errand vol. xii. 541 

to Washington concerning artillery and stores vol. xii. 588 

arrival at camp vol. xiii. 50 

stentorian lungs vol. xiii. 317 

promoted vol. xiii. 356 

sent to Massachusetts vol. xiii. 374 

inspects the forts of the Highlands vol. xiii. 414 

objects to leave Chew's house garrisoned vol. xiv. 51 

accompanies Washington vol. xiv. 375 

described by Chastellux vol. xiv. 422 

dispatched to the Eastern States vol. xiv. 455 

and Washington, anecdote vol. xiv. 598 

moves patriotic resolutions vol. xv. 28 

suggests the society of the Cincinnati vol. xv. 36 

at Harlem « vol. xv. 47 

enters New York vol. xv. 47 

parting with Washington vol. xv. 49 

to Washington concerning Massachusetts insurgents vol. xv. 92 

meets Washington vol. xv. 98 

reception of Washington vol. xv. 112 

Ir>dex 543 

at Washington's inauguration vol. xv. 115 

officiates as Secretary of War vol. xv. 124 

described vol. xv. 126 

presidential etiquette vol. xv. 133 

appointed Secretary of War vol. xv. 142 

in favor of a National Bank vol. xv. 193 

sides with Hamilton vol. xv. 193 

concerning French prizes vol. xv. 263 

case of the "Little Sarah" vol. xv. 270 

concerning recall of Genet vol. xv. 274 

and Washington, anecdote vol. xv. 274 

to Washington, resigning vol. xv. 312 

position assigned to vol. xv. 377 

to Washington on his appointment vol. xv. 378 

to Washington on his reply vol. xv. 380 

Knox, Lieutenant, leads forlorn hope at Stony Point vol. xiv. 246 

Knyphausen, General, re-enforces Howe vol. xiii. 234 

menaces Fort Washington vol. xiii. 247 

at Ceci